It Takes a Village: Long Term Disaster Recovery a Collective Effort

When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, many have criticized the disaster response by the government to support the territory in getting back on its feet.

“I think that the fact that we are not a state has essentially given the platform for the Administration to give a different and unfair treatment to Puerto Rico,” Omar Marrero, the head of recovery in Puerto Rico, told VICE News. “Without proper funds, Puerto Rico has been slapping bandaids on things, building only temporary infrastructure.

Still today, Omar said that some 30,000 homes are protected by blue tarps instead of the roofs ripped off during the storm and not yet replaced, according to that article.

This June, Congress passed a $19.1 billion disaster aid bill to help areas hit by disaster, including Puerto Rico. But Marrero told VICE news the $1.5 billion portion that the territory will receive is not going to resolve what’s left of recovery efforts.

While FEMA exists among the most recognized resources for disaster recovery, the truth is long-term recovery efforts are much more complex than any single entity can manage.

For example, FEMA recognizes that nonprofits play a large role in these long-term efforts and even recently held workshops for organizations in Puerto Rico to learn about “enhancing their support for communities recovering from hurricanes Irma and Maria.”

Jake’s Diapers is committed to supporting areas of disaster in their long-term recovery process, and that’s why we continue to work with Puerto Rico residents to supply diapers and other basic hygiene necessities to the populations most in need.

About Our Disaster Relief Efforts: Jake’s Diapers recognizes that every person is one disaster away from living in a situation that restricts access to basic necessities. We respond when disaster strikes, understanding the need to be clean and healthy after displacement or destruction. Supporting people impacted in this way restores hope and dignity while creating the opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life as they rebuild and recover.