Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Information

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We are continually updating this page with the latest information about relief efforts to help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. Please check this page often for updates.

I want to thank all of those individuals, representatives from organizations, faith based leaders, and local business persons who have reached to over office over the last 48 hours to offer their assistance for the victims of Hurricane Maria. 

The unity displayed by our residents and outpouring of support is truly inspiring.  The devastating effect of Hurricane Maria will forever change the lives of millions of our friends, family members and neighbors in Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands.

Like so many of you, I have family members and friends who I have been unable to contact directly and continue to pray for their safety.

Locally, I am supporting a relief effort being organized by the Newark Hurricane Relief Effort which is being held on Saturday, October 7th  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. next to Pueblo Supermarket located at 880 Mt. Prospect Ave.  More information on this event will follow.

Less than 48 hours after Hurricane Maria, authorities are assessing the damage caused by the hurricane and identifying all outlets possible to assist the victims. At this point, power restoration and the safety of those living in more remote areas of Puerto Rico are the highest priorities.  

We will be announcing all local efforts to assist with hurricane relief and are communicating regularly with our state and federal authorities to come up with suggestions on how we can best assist our island as quickly as possible. 

I want to commend New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced that in partnership with Jet Blue airlines, that he was flying to Puerto Rico to bring supplies and much-needed generators to assist in powering up facilities such as hospitals. Moreover, Gov. Cuomo announced that he was bring some of the state's utility experts to assist with power restoration.

UPDATES:

4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

I just got off the phone with New Jersey Director of Red Cross Ana Montero. A few other points to consider:

  • The hurricane is still active as we speak. People are dealing with the effect of rivers overflowing.
  • The focus is now on saving lives. Other active personnel at this point are FEMA, U.S. Military and other emergency responders. 
  • Sustaining lives will be next, which includes getting much-needed supplies to residents.

9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

The New York Times has published a list of charities providing aid to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. 

Local Charities

ConPRmetidos

While its main focus is on promoting innovation by connecting Puerto Ricans abroad to those on the island, this local nonprofit has also started a fund to help victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund

The government of Dominica is collecting donations through JustGiving, a crowdfunding website. The money will go toward temporary roofing, blankets and non-perishable foods.

GoFundMe

The crowdfunding website maintains a list of verified campaigns, many of them local, collecting donations for victims of the storm. Donors can give to a campaign or directly to GoFundMe, which will then distribute the money to the campaigns.

Unidos por Puerto Rico

This initiative, from Beatriz Rosselló, the first lady of Puerto Rico, enlists private sector help in providing aid to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Donations are accepted through a variety of means, including PayPal.

National and Global Charities

Each group below has earned the top rating, four stars, from Charity Navigator, which grades charities based on transparency and financial health.

All Hands Volunteers

All Hands works with local volunteers and groups to respond to natural disasters. With Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, it is focusing its efforts on the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Our help is needed in the islands, so that’s where we’ll be,” said Erik Dyson, the group’s chief executive.

AmeriCares

The relief and development organization, which provides health services to those in need, said that it was working with officials in Puerto Rico to stock emergency shelters with medical supplies. Earlier in the week, it had airlifted $1.8 million worth of medicine and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Catholic Relief Services

Donations to the faith-based group will help to provide shelter, water, tarps, tents, kitchen kits and other supplies to families affected by the storm, it said.

Another faith-based initiative, Convoy of Hope provides food, water and emergency supplies to those in need throughout the world.

Direct Relief

Direct Relief reported that it was working with local authorities to deliver a shipment of medicine and medical supplies to islands in the region. It also said it was working to provide insulin to 120 displaced dialysis patients.

GlobalGiving

This crowdfunding website connects donors to nonprofits and companies around the world. Donations will be spent first on the immediate needs of victims and then on longer-term recovery efforts “run by local, vetted organizations,” according to the website.

International Medical Corps

The group has been working with local authorities to provide emergency care after Hurricane Irma and said it had moved medical supplies into place ahead of Hurricane Maria.

Don’t Forget to Ask Questions

It’s important to research charities to fully understand how they might — or might not — spend your money. Charity Navigator, as we mentioned, is a good resource.

But high ratings may not always be enough. Despite earning three stars from Charity Navigator, the American Red Cross has faced strong criticism in recent years for its response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, stemming from a ProPublica and National Public Radioinvestigation that suggested that the group had badly mismanaged relief efforts. (The Red Cross has disputed the criticism.) The organization also recently apologized for temporarily suspending registrations for financial assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

10:19 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

As Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic begin to recover from their second major hurricane, Verizon is continuing its  commitment of connecting its customers with their loved ones impacted by these tragic events.

Beginning today through Monday, September 25th Verizon is giving all Fios® TV customers access to WAPA America and Televisión Dominicana at no additional charge.

These two Spanish networks will be transmitting nearly around-the-clock live coverage from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic following Hurricane Maria's devastation.

Tune in to stay updated

WAPA America
Televisión Dominicana
Channel 1508
Channel 1506

 

Learn More

 

4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017

Supplies needed as suggested by Red Cross and FEMA.

Batteries, portable radios, water, tooth brush and tooth paste sets, canned goods, brushes, combs, first aid kits and shampoo. Careful attention should be placed on packaging since it will be easier to ship.  Reminder: the emphasis is on saving lives and rescue and power and telecommunications restoration. 

10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017

Cracks in a Puerto Rican Dam Send Neighbors a Message: Leave Now

Several hundred people who live in low-lying areas along the Guajataca Dam, about 60 miles west of San Juan, abandoned their homes Friday and Saturday, days after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Cracks in the dam, officials said, had put surrounding areas in peril.

Read more.

8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept, 26, 2017

An update from Raul Malave III, Assistant Public Safety Director

Every firehouse in Newark is accepting donations for Hurricane Maria relief. Additionally, all 5 police precincts are accepting donations as well. Please be advised that donations will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.

All donated items must be non perishable, new clothing (not second hand) and not contain any liquid of any kind. Open or unsealed donations of food or hygiene supplies will not be accepted at our locations. Anyone wishing to donate items that do not fit this criteria should be directed to one of our Clergy partners. Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information.

1st Precinct central ward -10 17th Ave

2nd Precinct north ward- 1 Lincoln Ave

5th Precinct south ward -480 Clinton Ave

3rd Precinct east ward -649 Market Street

4th Precinct west ward -247 16th Ave

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