Showing posts with label FEMA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FEMA. Show all posts

April 4, 2019

Because Trump is Being Against PR For Some Reason Is Brought Congress to Not Approve Disaster Aide For No One

Puerto Rico's Grid, Cannot be replaced by FEMA but find the parts to put it the way it was even Trump says it was a piece of shit


 Trump "oranges" A Trump for any occasion

Congress killed a $13 billion federal disaster relief bill on Monday because no one can agree on how much aid should go to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Republicans, under pressure from President Trump to cut aid to Puerto Rico, put forward the bill that would offer $600 million in nutrition aid.

But Senate Democrats shot down the bill. They’re favoring a bill proposed by the House that would allocate about $700 million more aid than the Republicans are offering. But Republicans killed that version.

Disaster relief packages usually get bipartisan support. But relief to Puerto Rico, which is still reeling from Hurricane Maria, has become politicized. Trump has repeatedly railed against the island and its leaders since the storm struck and called for cutting off aid to Puerto Rico entirely.

The impasse could halt disaster relief nationwide at a moment when it’s sorely needed: Floods slammed the Midwest earlier this year. Tornadoes ravaged parts of the South. Hawaii is still recovering from volcano explosions.

Senate Democrats are expected to put forward a new proposal Tuesday that would boost relief funding for the Midwest, according to the New York Times. It’s an effort to attract some Republicans who were wary about the amount of funding to those states in the Democrats’ earlier bill.

But this fight has turned unusually bitter, with each side accusing the other of partisanship.

Trump, meanwhile, is stoking the flames on Twitter and accusing the Democrats of killing a bill that would’ve provided aid to Puerto Rico, despite the island’s “incompetent or corrupt” politicians and lying about how much aid has already been delivered. 

– Alex Lubben

September 24, 2018

In Many Parts of Puerto Rico it seems like the storm hit yesterday. The damage it is still there.

Utuado (Central West in the Island). Even a well constructed cement house to which testament it does not breaks apart but the wind and the heavy rain blows it down the reveen. The worse part is this: A home in Utuado severely damaged by Hurricane Maria remains unlivable a year later.

Photographs by Joseph Rodriguez
Written by Ed Morales
Mr. Rodriguez is a photojournalist. Mr. Morales is the author of a book about Latino identity in the United States.
Last October, my sister and I traveled to Puerto Rico to pick up our 89-year-old mother and take her back to New York. Hurricane Maria had battered her remote mountain community in Río Grande, near the El Yunque National Forest. 

My mother, who coincidentally is named María, had long resisted our pleas to move to the mainland, but we knew that in the chaos after the storm, many Puerto Ricans, especially older people, would die. We didn’t want her to be one of them. She finally agreed to leave.

Because of the damage to her home in Utuado, Julia Rivera, 48, who has nine children, has to collect and store water in plastic jugs and cook meals in a makeshift kitchen she created in her backyard.

Poor communities in urban areas like Santurce and Loíza are struggling with severely damaged housing, the loss of jobs and small businesses, and sluggish responses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In rural communities, it’s even worse. Julia Rivera, a mother of nine in Utuado, a mountainous town in the path of Maria’s center, still needs funds to repair her leaking roof. “I have lost everything but my faith in God,” she lamented.

Julia Rivera’s son Sandro Rodriguez Rivera in his bedroom. The power is intermittent and water leaks through the house’s badly damaged ceilings.

Puerto Rico was experiencing a health care crisis before Maria, with doctors leaving in droves for the mainland and severe cuts in Medicaidlooming. In Vieques — an island on the east coast of Puerto Rico that once housed a United States Navy base — the hospital was flooded and then overtaken by toxic mold. The hospital remains closed, and patients can receive only basic care in temporary medical facility.

Anna Tufino Camacho, 93, lives alone in Vieques. Blind in one eye, she also has heart disease and a fractured spine. Volunteers from Fundación Stefano check in on Ms. Camacho, who weathered the hurricane by lying in a bathtub.

A mural in Old San Juan that means “Promise Is Poverty,” a reference to the Financial Oversight and Management Board imposed by Congress.

In Palo Seco, Juanita and Artemio García, who would like to rebuild their local cafe, are weighing whether to move to Orlando, Fla., to be with their son, a music teacher, and his children. “I still haven’t made up my mind,” Mr. García said. “My son keeps asking, and maybe he’s right. I miss my grandchildren.”

 Juanita and Artemio García, married 54 years, would like to rebuild their café, named Two Times, in Palo Seco, but are considering moving to Florida.

Fernando Montero, a 64-year-old coffee farmer in Utuado, and his wife, Maria Gonzalez, lost six of their thirteen acres of coffee plants in the hurricane. Mr. Montero says it will take three years for the crop to come back.

And yet, as spring approached, my mother began to miss the rhythms of her barrio. In February, we heard that the power there had been restored. Her sister, Mercedes, and her neighbors had made their way back. Though we had wanted so much for her to stay, we knew it was time for her to do the same. She needed to be in the place that made her feel alive. 

Ed Morales teaches at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and his latest book is “Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture.” 
Joseph Rodriguez is a photojournalist whose latest book is “Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s.” This article was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
Produced by Jeffrey Henson Scales and Isvett Verde

September 13, 2018

No Water in Puerto Rico Meanwhile FEMA Forgot They Had 20,000 Pallets of Battled Water Stacked Away

20,000 pallets of bottled water left untouched in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

By Bill Weir, CNN

Ceiba, Puerto Rico (CNN)The stockpile of bottled water stretches down an unused runway in Ceiba. Case after case, pallet piled upon pallet, blue tarps and plastic glinting in the sun. 
The emergency supplies were brought in by FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which smashed the island and left its residents without power, without roofs and without running water. 
Federal officials commandeered the area in the far east of the island last fall as a staging ground, collecting the water and containers full of blue tarps to patch damaged and destroyed roofs in surrounding neighborhoods. 
And there the supplies sat. And sat. Storm survivors were collecting spring water from the mountains for cooking and bathing, even with the threat of disease that brought

 Without running water at home, many people resorted to collecting supplies from mountain springs and streams, as here in Las Marias last October.

The water -- destined for communities in need -- will now be returned to FEMA, an official says.

    July 15, 2018

    FEMA Failures Were Responsible ForThe Slow Recovery and Deaths that Unnecessary Occurred in PR

     No Water! Where was FEMA? Not in PR as per the numbers
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to properly prepare for last year's hurricane season and was unable to provide adequate support to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and other areas, an internal report released by the agency concluded. 
    The report found Puerto Rico's emergency-supply warehouses were nearly empty when Hurricane Maria hit in October, without things like cots or tarps, because many of the supplies had been rerouted to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    The report also found FEMA had been understaffed going into the hurricane season and that most specialized disaster staffers were deployed to the other storms when Maria struck.
    The initial response was also hampered by huge communication challenges. Almost 95 percent of cell towers were down after the storm. But FEMA did not have enough working satellite phones to adequately spread to the island's leadership, making it difficult to get a handle on the scope of the damage.
    As emergency supplies arrived, the report found, FEMA faced a major hurdle: it lacked visibility into what was being shipped by other government agencies or private sector partners, further hindering response decisions.
    "Shipping containers often arrived in Puerto Rico labeled simply as 'disaster supplies,' requiring FEMA staff to unload and open containers to determine their contents," the report stated.
    Many of the shortcomings outlined in the report — a lack of key supplies on Puerto Rico before the storm, unqualified staff, and challenges with delivering emergency supplies — were detailed in a recent Frontline and NPR documentaryBlackout in Puerto Rico, slated to re-air July 17.

    The report also found FEMA struggled to track supplies from the mainland to the island and through distribution, saying the agency experienced "business process shortfalls." Frontline and NPR found serious flaws in many of the agency's supply contracts.
    That lack of planning proved one of the agency's biggest stumbling blocks to the response. The report found the last FEMA disaster planning assessment for Puerto Rico was from 2012 and "underestimated the actual requirements in 2017." In particular, the plans "did not address insufficiently maintained infrastructure (e.g., the electrical grid)" or the "financial liquidity challenges" facing the bankrupt Puerto Rican government.
    What's more, FEMA's leadership acknowledged it could have better anticipated the need for federal intervention. The report said that in 2011, a report on a FEMA preparedness exercise on the island "anticipated that the territory would require extensive federal support in moving commodities."
    The most critical of those commodities in the weeks after the storm were generators. But the agency didn't have enough and was unable to quickly acquire more. While the agency ultimately installed more than 2,000 generators on Puerto Rico — a record number — FEMA had only 695 in stock when Maria hit and only 31 on the island three days after the storm. 
    FEMA Administrator Brock Long acknowledged in a foreword to the report that FEMA had work to do to improve its disaster response capability. 
    "With this report, FEMA and the emergency management community have an opportunity to learn from the 2017 Hurricane Season and build a more prepared and resilient Nation," Long wrote.
    U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security, welcomed FEMA's critical assessment but said the agency needs to do more to prepare for this year's hurricane season.
    "This report still does not explain how or why Puerto Rico was clearly treated differently than the states that faced natural disasters last year," Thompson said.
    "I sincerely hope that FEMA has learned serious lessons from its inadequate response to Hurricane Maria," he added. "But with this year's hurricane season well underway, FEMA has not shown us that it is ready for anything resembling what we faced last year."

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