Five years after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the island, Puerto Rico was hit by another massive hurricane, leaving thousands without power, running water and shelter.
One day after Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 hurricane, hit the shores of Puerto Rico at 3:20 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20, an estimated 1.5 million Puerto Ricans are without power and 196,00 are without running water. Some areas of the island endured winds reaching upwards of 130 mph, as flash flooding and landslides destroyed the island's already crumbling infrastructure — sweeping away bridges and destroying homes.
At least two feet of rain fell on the island over the weekend. Puerto Rico is still under a tropical storm warning, with intense rain expected to continue until Tuesday evening.
During a press conference on Sept. 19, Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said the island was still in the "emergency phase" and that the island needed first responders to help with relief efforts.
Earlier, President Joe Biden approved Puerto Rico’s emergency declaration, allowing federal funds to be used in local disaster-relief efforts. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced via Twitter that New York City is sending 50 New York Police Department troopers to Puerto Rico immediately, and "as needs continue to arise, we will remain ready to provide help and resources wherever necessary."
Hochul added that the New York Power Authority will also assist in helping to restore Puerto Rico's power grid.
The following is a list of verified 501c(3) charities assisting Puerto Rico's citizens in their time of need.
The Hispanic Federation is a coalition of local organizations — including La Maraña and ViequesLove — that help to rebuild homes, health centers and farms, as well as meet both the short- and long-term needs of the island through community-based projects.
Currently, the Hispanic Federation on the ground in Puerto Rico providing emergency relief services.
A local non-profit led by women, Taller Salud is taking monetary donations, as well as asking people to donate non-perishable food items — like pasta sauce — other cooking essentials (like sofrito, garlic and onions), and additional items like disposable containers, toiletries, cutlery, gallons of water, water filters and solar lanterns.
SBP is a nonprofit disaster-relief organization based in New Orleans and started by a married couple after Hurricane Katrina. With a focus on reducing the time between when a disaster hits and when relief efforts can begin, the group announced via Twitter that when it's safe a "team will be on the ground to assess the damage and assist those impacted."
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (The Puerto Rico Community Foundation) has been working to increase access to renewable energy, drinking water, housing and education for people living on the island for over 35 years.
Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico
Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico is a community-based, local kitchen with the goal of ending food insecurity in Puerto Rico. The kitchen is currently accepting financial donations to help aid their efforts.
Puerto Rican Civic Club
The Foundation for Puerto Rico
The Foundation for Puerto Rico is a local nonprofit that provides "resources, training, funding and networks" in order to "improve the local economy," according to the organization's website. In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, The Foundation is also asking for donations and volunteers.