About $42.3 Million Programmed on Relief; Access to Clean Water, Electricity, Cellular Service & Essential Healthcare Still a Concern
Thursday, September 20, 2018 —One year ago, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other parts of the Caribbean. In response, hundreds of Red Cross volunteers and employees worked around the clock to support hurricane survivors. Through the extraordinary support of the American public, the Red Cross has raised $71.7 million including the value of critical donated goods and services, to help Hurricane Maria survivors.
A year later, the American Red Cross and our partners are still working to ensure affected communities have consistent access to power and water in emergencies. Severe damage to infrastructure left tens of thousands virtually isolated for weeks and even months.
“When I visited Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, I was truly heartbroken by the extent of the damage. Power was still out in San Juan and other places across the island, and many areas were extremely difficult to reach because of the damage to roads and infrastructure,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Despite the destruction I witnessed, I was deeply inspired by the resilience and fortitude of the people I met, including the incredible volunteers who worked tirelessly in challenging conditions—serving millions of meals and snacks, and delivering bottled water, bulk food supplies and cooking equipment so people could prepare meals for their families. Over the past year, the Red Cross has continued to stand with Maria survivors, providing relief supplies and support for urgent needs—such as generators to power life-sustaining medical equipment for families who still lack electricity. We're also funding vital recovery programs that will strengthen vulnerable communities, helping them become more resilient against future crises.”
Full details are available in the Red Cross’ Hurricane Maria One-Year Update. View personal stories of how the Red Cross helped people after this devastating storm in this moving video.
Maria was the most intense hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, causing devastating losses for residents and massive damage to key infrastructure across the island. Hundreds of American Red Cross disaster workers from across the U.S. responded to help hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powered by the generosity of our donors, the Red Cross:
- Helped reconnect nearly 15,000 families in 51 Puerto Rican municipalities
- Served 12.8 million meals and snacks with the help of our partners
- Distributed more than 5.2 million relief items
- Delivered more than 40,800 health and mental health services
- Provided more than 2,700 generators for people with medical equipment needs
RECOVERY EFFORTS ONGOING
The Red Cross is working with federal and local officials, as well as other nonprofit and faith-based organizations, to identify the most urgent unmet needs caused by Maria and coordinate long-term recovery efforts. We will use donated funds to strengthen communities across Puerto Rico, with a focus on four key recovery areas: consistent power, clean water, community health and community resiliency.
Concentrating on these key areas through a community centered recovery approach will help mitigate the devastating impact to key infrastructure and the resulting effects on home life, families, health and the local economy. Many Red Cross projects will also be aimed at individual and community preparedness for the hurricanes that may come later this year or in the years to come.