The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico

TOP The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico
Volunteer and Donate
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New Yorkers can support the men, women and children of Puerto Rico by volunteering at, or contributing to, one of the following organizations:

Governor Cuomo has engaged the Partnership for New York City, the city’s leading business organization, to establish the Puerto Rico Relief & Rebuilding Fund at New York Community Trust, a public foundation, that will make grants to local charitable organizations in Puerto Rico that are helping with recovery and rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, focusing on the most needy households and communities. Funds and in kind contributions are being solicited from the business community, with a minimum donation of $10,000.

Make a donation to:

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New York's Continued Efforts
New York's Continued Efforts
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Since Hurricane Maria's landfall in September 2017, Governor Cuomo has continuously directed critical resources to communities in need. In the immediate aftermath, New York established the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, ultimately distributing at least 4,400 pallets of supplies collected from 13 donation sites across the state. New York State also deployed more than 1,000 personnel, including hundreds of utility workers and power experts to help with power restoration and grid stabilization.

Under the Governor's leadership, New York State has dedicated approximately $13 million to support the more than 11,000 displaced Hurricane Maria victims living in New York. Part of this funding is being directed to organizations who connect vulnerable Puerto Ricans to needed services such as employment, housing, benefits counseling and health care. Governor Cuomo has also committed up to $11 million dollars in housing and workforce funding for displaced Puerto Ricans: a $1 million program to provide robust case management services to displaced Puerto Ricans, and up to $10 million in job training and placement.

NYPA is presently offering continued consultation on a wide-range of issues relating to the rebuilding of Puerto Rico's grid, focusing specifically on these areas: technical assistance and advocacy, reforming management and operations, and strengthening emergency preparedness. Between the months of November 2017 and April 2018, more than 450 New York State utility personnel, led by NYPA, went to Puerto Rico to help restore power. The New York State utility crews, under NYPA's leadership, consisted primarily of transmission and distribution experts, damage assessors and general support staff, who undertook repairs to transmission lines and other electric infrastructure work focusing its initial power restoration efforts in San Juan. They brought with them hundreds of bucket trucks, diggers, excavators and other specialized equipment to complete the necessary repairs to damaged transmission and distribution lines and worked 16-hour days, seven days-a-week to help restore power. The NYS utility workers then joined with utility workers from around the country—led by the Edison Electric Institute, the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association—to help restore power to other areas of the island.

Governor Cuomo and the New York Congressional Delegation continue to advocate for Puerto Rico to receive essential federal assistance. In 2017, Governor Cuomo along with members of the New York Congressional Delegation and with Puerto Rican elected officials issued a Build Back Better Assessment Report. The report identified specific sectors needing investments, including housing, power grid and resiliency, and agriculture, among others.

After the 2018 summer, Governor Cuomo announced the successful completion of the summer-long NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative. Throughout the summer, more than 650 SUNY and CUNY students, as well as skilled labor volunteers, traveled to island communities still recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma to provide assistance to those in need. Over the course of five deployments, volunteers logged in nearly 41,000 hours cleaning, restoring, and rebuilding homes. The goal to renovate 150 homes was far exceeded, with a total of 178 homes restored over 10 weeks. The Governor has continued deployments of SUNY and CUNY students to aid in the recovery efforts throughout summer 2019.

Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, SUNY's and CUNY's respective Board of Trustees passed resolutions in the fall of 2017 authorizing campuses to provide students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands impacted by hurricanes Maria and Irma with the ability to pay tuition at the in-state rate for the 2017-2018 academic year. Both systems renewed the granting of in-state tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year.

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Aid for Puerto Rico
Aid for Puerto Rico
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New York has deployed more than 1,000 personnel and distributed 4,400 pallets of supplies collected from 13 donations sites across the state:

Personnel deployed include: 

  • More than 450 New York utility personnel, more than 50 Tactical Power Restoration experts, and 15 damage assessment experts
  • 132 National Guard Military Police
  • 125 National Guard Engineers
  • 60 National Guard soldiers
  • Four Black Hawk helicopters
  • 14 Airmen
  • 156 Volunteer Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurses, and Nurse Practitioners
  • More than 70 Port Authority personnel
  • More than 130 State Troopers
  • Five-member logistical support team from the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • Two Department of Environmental Conservation drone pilots

Supplies distributed includes:

  • 3.3 million bottles of water
  • 7.8 million individual baby wipes
  • 2.3 million diapers
  • 592,730 feminine products
  • 117,210 containers of baby food
  • 194,014 canned goods
  • 82,640 bottles/pouches of juice/sport drinks
  • 15,275 flashlights
  • 8,600 solar lamps
  • 7,310 first aid kits
  • 1,181 water filtration systems
  • More than 155,000 miles of utility cable, 7,600 splice kits 1,485 cross arms and 50 transformers for power restoration efforts
  • More than $1 million in critical medication and supplies for San Juan, Vieques, Culebra and other locations, in partnership with GNYHA and the Afya Foundation
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