Hurricane Fiona has brought devastation to the people of Puerto Rico. And activists are stressing the need to support on-the-ground aid and resources.
The now Category 3 storm grew more powerful Tuesday as it rolled past Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic after pounding the islands with up to 30 inches of rain –triggering overwhelming flooding and leaving much in ruin. So far, three deaths have been reported.
As of Tuesday, more than 80% of Puerto Rico remained without power – over 24 hours after the storm shut down the entire electrical system. There’s no running water in more than 100,000 Puerto Rican homes and businesses. The Dominican Republic is still assessing damages.
The National Weather Service warned of “catastrophic and life-threatening” flooding and mudslides in southern and eastern Puerto Rico on Tuesday, with more heavy rain forecast through the week. Conditions were not expected to significantly improve.
Hurricane Fiona floods homes, streets: See the people and places impacted in Puerto Rico
On Sunday, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts. On Monday, the president promised to increase aid in the coming days.
Beyond this aid, activists stress the importance of supporting local organizations and grassroots mutual aid groups that are providing on-the-ground relief to fellow community members in Puerto Rico. Multiple organizations are providing critical aid for residents – including solar lights, generators, essential supplies and food.
To help Puerto Ricans and others in the Caribbean recover from the ongoing impacts of Hurricane Fiona, here’s a list of some nonprofits and mutual aid funds that you can support.
PRxPR is a disaster relief fund that has ben focused on rebuilding Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the archipelago in 2017. The organization is now collecting monetary donations for short- and long-term humanitarian needs in Puerto Rico. You can donate here.
Taller Salud is a community-based, women-led nonprofit that’s also collecting aid for hurricane relief – including donations of items like toiletries, water filters and non-perishable foods. Donate with PayPal or on Taller Salud’s website.
Techos Pa’ Mi Gente
Techos Pa’ Mi Gente is a nonprofit that started in 2017, following Hurricane Maria. The organization focuses on providing home reconstruction to communities impacted by disasters in Puerto Rico. Learn more about donating and volunteer opportunities here.
Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico
Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico is a nonprofit that has worked to fight hunger in Puerto Rico since 2013 – through mutual aid, providing the public with nutritious meals and more. You can donate here.
USA TODAY Hurricane Tracker: Updates on the path of every storm
Brigada Solidaria del Oeste
Brigada Solidaria del Oeste, a mutual-aid group based in Boquerón, Puerto Rico, is collecting emergency essential donations such as solar lamps, water filters, water-purification tablets and first-aid kids, as well as monetary donations. Learn more about donating here.
Direct Relief is the largest non-governmental organization donor of medical supplies – such as trauma supplies, antibiotics, medications and field medic backpacks – to on-the-ground health care providers. They also help install water wells, fire and EMS systems run on solar power.
Direct Relief is taking monetary donations for Hurricane Fiona relief in Puerto Rico and other areas of the Caribbean, with future emergency aid prepositioned for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and more.
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The Puerto Rican Civic Club
The Puerto Rican Civic Club in San Jose, California is raising funds for solar lights and gas generators in Puerto Rico. You can donate Amazon items, such as solar generators and flashlights, as well as monetary funds here.
The Hispanic Federation
The Hispanic Federation, a U.S. nonprofit focused on Latino empowerment, is raising funds for on-the-ground emergency relief services and essential supplies for impacted communities. Support the organization’s Hurricane Fiona relief and donate here.
Project HOPE, an international organization that assisted in the response to a series of damaging earthquakes that struck Puerto Rico in late 2019 and early 2020, said it has “teams on the ground” evaluating the health needs of people impacted by the hurricane. Learn more about aiding relief in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic here.
Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY. Chris Bridges, Palm Beach Post.