More than 4,600 people died last year as a result of Hurricane Maria, the largest single death toll on U.S. soil in the last 100 years according to a Harvard University study. This year's hurricane season has already begun — yet the humanitarian crisis on the island remains far from over.
If the island is struck again by a storm, the impact could surpass the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. The country's public infrastructure and most importantly, its power grid, remains fragile and extremely vulnerable to another natural disaster. Congress must stand up and protect our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico by continuing much-needed assistance for disaster preparedness and long-term recovery.
Sign the petition now to tell Congress that we must fully support Puerto Rico's recovery and resilience efforts.
Mercy Corps deployed an emergency response team to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and we are staying to help the island recover and rebuild. Nearly 11,000 homes and businesses are still without power. The hard work of restoring the economy, boosting small businesses, and improving resilience must continue.
Add your voice and urge Congress to commit to helping the people of Puerto Rico by funding resilience and disaster preparedness.
The humanitarian crisis on the island won't go away anytime soon. The road to recovery has only just begun, and more than ever it is critical that the U.S. response match the urgency demanded by the crisis.
Dear Member of Congress,
My fellow Americans in Puerto Rico continue to suffer, and with hurricane season upon us, I am concerned about the imminence of another humanitarian disaster. I am writing to request urgent Congressional leadership to ensure assistance and disaster preparedness efforts are sustained and targeted to meet both immediate needs and to protect against future storms.
It has been months since Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, leaving behind over $90 billion in damages. In the aftermath of the storm, households went, on average, 84 days without electricity and 64 days without water. More than 4,600 people died as a result – the largest death toll on U.S. soil in the last century.
I am concerned that Puerto Rico is unprepared for this year's hurricane season. Without sustained investments in resilience and disaster preparedness assistance, the incremental gains toward recovery and rebuilding will be reversed. Given the conditions that exist now, even a hurricane of lower magnitude is likely to have outsized humanitarian impacts.
I am thankful that Congress has not forgotten the people of Puerto Rico. The disaster relief bill that was signed into law in spring was a critical and much-appreciated step in the recovery process. But more work remains. I ask that you work with your colleagues to:
- Ensure communities, especially those in remote areas, are able to regularly access basic necessities like food and water, and that environmental and public health hazards are addressed in a timely manner. This includes committing to rebuilding and supporting the island's distribution system.
- Remove any federal laws and regulations that might impede relief and recovery efforts so that aid is provided as efficiently and effectively as possible.
- Invest in small businesses, ecological restoration, and the tourism sector to help support the recovery of basic economic livelihoods.
- Commit to rebuilding the distribution system and continued support for security and distribution of aid in remote areas.
- Increase funding and assistance toward disaster relief and preparedness efforts to safeguard recovery gains and to prevent the next disaster resulting in another humanitarian crisis.
Thank you for considering my request. Americans unite in the midst of emergencies, and so today, we are all Puerto Rico, and we must do all that we can to help.
[Your Name Here]