In September 2017, Hurricane Maria swept through the Caribbean, causing severe damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands before making a direct hit on Puerto Rico. This deadly and powerful storm caused catastrophic damage and changed the lives of tens of thousands of residents, leveling homes, destroying businesses, decimating crops, taking down power grids across the island and cutting off access to essential resources like safe drinking water. Many lost everything, while others had to live without electricity or running water for months.
In response to this historic hurricane and the ensuing hardships caused by its crippling impact on the island’s infrastructure, hundreds of American Red Cross disaster workers, both from Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland, delivered critical emergency aid to survivors. And as tropical storms and even earthquakes continued to impact the island over the last three years, we have also implemented solutions to help residents recover and become more resilient against ongoing and future crises — helping to ensure that they have access to consistent power and clean water, essential health services, and emotional support, as well as by supporting economic recovery and preparedness programs with our partners.