ORLANDO, Fla. – Local organizations and faith leaders are on standby here in Central Florida to help the people of Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricane Fiona.
This also comes as we approach the 5-year mark of Hurricane Maria this coming Tuesday, as the island is still recovering.
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“We need to pray for Puerto Rico. We need to pray like we’ve never prayed before, and help people hold on to hope,” said Jose Rodriquez.
Padre Jose Rodriquez from Christ the King Episcopal Church in the Azalea Park neighborhood of Orlando is working to get results and took part in several planning calls over the past week with other local organizations to find ways they can best help.
“The majority of our families have family on the island. My family lives on the island,” Rodriquez said. “We are expecting there to be some need and some displacement and when that time comes we’re going to be ready.”
News 6 Meteorologist Jonathan Kegges said Hurricane Maria was one of the worst hurricanes on record.
“They’re still feeling the effects in Puerto Rico of Maria almost five years later, so again, any storm, low grade or strong, it’s just going to impact them even further for the places that have not fully recovered,” Kegges said. “Fiona not as strong as Maria, but certainly I’m sure it’s bringing up horrible, horrible memories.”
The American Red Cross of Central Florida said in a statement Sunday it was “ready to support thousands of families from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” promising more supplies, food and volunteers to come in addition to pre-positioned supplies:
- Supplies like cots, blankets, and comfort kits, were prepositioned in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
- Dozens of volunteers are moving into areas under threat from (Hurricane) Fiona to be ready to provide support.
- We encourage people who plan to stay in a government shelter to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items, and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.
- Dozens of skilled volunteers are available to support the response and recovery phases, including providing mass care services, damage assessment, and relief mobilization.
- Currently, there were twenty-seven (27) government shelters open across Puerto Rico, with three (3) people being sheltered. Municipalities with open shelters are Adjuntas, Bayamón, Caguas, Culebra, Dorado, Morovis, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Guayama, Guánica, Guayanilla, Gurabo, Juana Díaz, Las Piedras, Naranjito, Peñuelas, Ponce, San Lorenzo, Santa Isabel, Yauco. Shelters are managed by the government in Puerto Rico.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for access to real-time storm information and safety tips. Search for the American Red Cross in online app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.
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