Hurricane Maria was “the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the United
States” and was Puerto Rico’s largest natural disaster in over a century. Maria
left a trail of devastation across Puerto Rico, leaving thousands of families
homeless and more than 15,000 people are in temporary shelters, the entire
power grid is offline, cellular communications are scarce and over 70% of the
island is without water service. Hospitals are running low on medical supplies.
Emergency relief and the long-term recovery efforts will take months, and in
some areas, years.
As a result, thousands of families are choosing to leave everything and
move to the mainland. Due to the large Puerto Rican community in Florida,
families are showing up at Florida airports with only a small
suitcase of personal items and no place to go. Support is also needed for
these evacuees as they seek to relocate for the time being among
our Florida communities.