Hurricane Maria

Active Recovery
September 20, 2017 -Present
Credit:Photo by William Vazquez

The Storm

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Puerto Rico, officially claiming 64 lives and causing an estimated $94 billion in damages; some estimates place the toll at nearly 3,000 deaths attributed to the storm. Some residents of remote communities lacked power for months and many did not have safe water. Health system damage has seriously limited health care access. Maria also dealt Dominica a brutal blow and caused considerable damage in other Caribbean islands. Today, our teams continue work in Dominica and Puerto Rico, delivering supplies, providing aid with emergency medical teams and working to meet needs in health facilities and communities struggling to re-establish basic services.

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$40 million

in total aid


shipments of medicine and supplies


partner organizations receiving assistance

Puerto Rico Aid

To give health facilities the medicine and supplies they needed to treat storm survivors, Americares intially made deliveries to 47 partners including 18 hospitals and clinics. Our assessment teams visited hospitals and clinics on the islands of Vieques and Culebra, Mayaguez and Rincon in the west, Utuado in the mountains, as well as the greater Ponce and San Juan areas to determine recovery needs. The team set up a temporary structure in one community to allow an inoperable health facility to offer services again. We supported transportation for dialysis patients in Vieques to and from the mainland. Our staff also trained health professionals at Ponce Health Science University in disaster medicine.

Our emergency medical teams provided 1,700 patient consultations during two months in the field, including more than 200 house calls for patients unable to travel to health facilities and 260 mental health consults. We have supplied enough medicine to fill an estimated 296,000 prescriptions and trained more than 1,100 health workers through disaster preparedness and mental health workshops.

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Dominica Aid

Americares staff helicoptered into Dominica on September 20, hand-carrying medicine and supplies for the damaged hospital. More shipments of supplies quickly followed. Americares encountered widespread damage to health infrastructure in several Dominica parishes and has now rebuilt 7 primary health facilities. The team is currently in the midst of reconstructing 5 more facilities, with an additional reconstruction project at the national hospital. Americares also is helping the Ministry of Health to organize and inventory donated medical supplies. More than 60 percent of the island's housing was damaged or destroyed along with all of its agriculture.

Going Forward

As the recovery continues, Americares Hurricane Maria Relief Program will focus on mental health and psychosocial programming as well as disaster preparedness. Americares has set a goal to teach 5,000 health workers and first responders coping skills to manage stress and trauma—allowing them to care for patients affected by the storm as well as address their own mental health needs. Thus far our team has trained 2,000 health care workers, social service providers, and first responders in Psychological First Aid and Resilience and Coping for the Healthcare Community. Americares will also continue to support health programs for patients with chronic disease in hard-hit communities. 

“Hurricane Maria’s destruction was unprecedented. Impacted communities are on their way to recovery, but more work remains. Thousands of survivors are still reeling from the psychological and economic impact of the storm.”

Americares Vice President of Emergency Programs Kate Dischino

Emergency Preparedness Program

American Red CrossWith the support of the American Red Cross, Americares is conducting emergency preparedness bootcamps across Puerto Rico for an estimated 900 health care providers from organizations across the island including free and charitable clinics (FCCs), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), health facilities within the public sector, and social service agencies. The goal of this program is to enhance health center and health system resiliency across Puerto Rico and improve the post-disaster health outcomes of disaster survivors, providers, and communities. 

Our Partners for Hurricane Response in Puerto Rico and Dominica

Our U.S. Programs partner with an extensive safety net clinic network in all 50 states and Puerto Rico that allows us to build a rapid response to a disaster and build long-term programs in support of health system restoration.  In addition, we reach out to and identify new partners during a disaster to meet immediate community needs and establish sustainable relationships for strengthening health services. All our partners listed below receive emergency medicines and supplies. Partners listed with ** are also receiving program and project support ranging from targeted health initiatives to operational assistance.

American Academy of Pediatrics San Juan
ASEM - Medicina de Campo San Juan
Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, Inc. San Juan
Asociación Puertorriqueña de Diabetes (APD) San Juan
Atlantic Medical Center Barceloneta
Camuy Health Services Camuy 
Hospital Municipal de Cayey (CDT) Cayey
Hospital Menonita de Cidra (CDT) Cidra
CDT Culebra Culebra
CDT Guayanilla Guayanilla
CDT Maunabo Maunabo
**Centro de Salud Familiar Dr Julio Palmieri Ferri Inc Arryoa 
Centro de Servicios Primerios de Patillas, Inc. Patillas
Centro de Servicios Primerios de Salud, Inc. Florida Florida, Puerto Rico
**Centro Integrado de Servicios de Salud, Inc.  Lares 
Community Health Foundation of PR - Bayamon Bayamon
Concilio de Salud Integral de Loiza Loiza
**Corporacion de Servicios Medicos Primarios y Preventivos de Hatillo, Inc Arecibo, Hatillo, Utuado, and Aguadilla
Corporacion SANOS  Caguas
COSSMA, Inc. Cidra
**Costa Salud Community Health Centers Inc Rincon 
Dentistas Misioneros de Puerto Rico Guaynabo 
Departmento de Salud/Department of Health San Juan
Department of Education  
Feeding America San Juan
Fundación Pediátrica de Diabetes (Pediatric Diabetes Association) San Juan
**HealthProMed San Juan, Vieques, Culebra
Heart to Heart International San Juan
Hospital de la Concepcion San German
**Hospital General Castaner Castaner, Adjuntas, and Jayuya
**Hospital Ryder Memorial, Inc. Humacao 
Hospital San Carlos, Inc. / or Hospital San Carlos Borromeo Moca
Humacao Minicipality  
La Casa del Veterano Ponce
Med Centro Ponce
**Migrant Health Center Mayagüez, Guánica, Isabela, Lajas, Maricao, San Sebastián, and Yauco
**Morovis Community Health Center, Inc Morovis and Toa Baja
NeoMed Center Gurabo
New York Presbyterian Medical Team Manati
**Open Door Health Center Miami, Florida
 Ponce School of Medicine Foundation (Ponce Health Sciences University) Ponce
Public Housing Dept.  
**PryMed Medical Care Ciales
**Salud Integral en la Montana, Inc Barranquitas, Comerío, Corozal, Naranjito, Orocovis, Toa Alta, Toa Alta
San Juan Healthcare for the Homeless San Juan
San Juan Municipality  
Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Endocrinologia y Diabetologia Bayamon 
Team Rubicon San Juan
The Salvation Army San Juan
UPR Medical Science  
Vieques Adventist Academy Vieques
Vieques Shelter Vieques
VOCES San Juan
Women Adv Off  
**Dominican Ministry of Health & Environment Roseau, Dominica
Raise your Voice Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia