Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 hurricane, brought sustained winds topping 85 mph and torrential rainfalls to Puerto Rico, triggering floods, mudslides, and an island wide blackout. Puerto Rican officials say the island’s power grid and infrastructure are still recovering from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island in 2017, and knocked out power for almost a year in some places and created the largest blackout in U.S. history.
President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Puerto Rico, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supply disaster relief services to those affected by Hurricane Fiona. Households interested in applying for FEMA assistance can get more information about Individual and Public Assistance that they may qualify by going to: www.disasterassistance.gov.
WAYS TO HELP:
Monetary donations are the best way to support the work of relief agencies working in disaster regions to help in times of disaster. It is the quickest way to get supplies to those in need. Here are a few of the agencies currently assisting and collecting donations for the residents of Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Fiona.
HOW TO AVOID CHARITY SCAMS:
During times of disasters, scammers are busy trying to sell offers that may sound legitimate but may be an illegal scheme or fraud. Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of disaster victims. Solicitations can originate from e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone calls, and similar methods.
The United States Justice District of Puerto Rico urges the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to disaster relief operations and federal funding for victims of Hurricane Fiona by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or the NCDF’s on-line portal for complaints at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/webform/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form
SOURCES: American Red Cross-Connecticut; Americares, Puerto Rico VOAD; Hispanic Federation, United States Justice Department; World Central Kitchen; United Way of Puerto Rico; Samaritan’s Purse
PREPARED BY: 211/tb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: September2022