How Philly can help with Hurricane Fiona relief efforts

After power was knocked out across Puerto Rico, local orgs jumped into action.

Playa Salinas in Puerto Rico on Monday, flooded after Hurricane Fiona passed through

Playa Salinas in Puerto Rico on Monday, flooded after Hurricane Fiona passed through

Alejandro Granadillo / AP Photo
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Hurricane Fiona is wreaking havoc on the Caribbean.

As a Category 1 storm, it knocked out the power grid in all of Puerto Rico and caused flooding and mudslides — five years after the Category 4 Hurricane Maria caused an estimated 3,000 deaths and billions of dollars in damage in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Fiona then turned toward the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos, destroying homes, disrupting utilities, and building strength all the while. As Fiona heads for Bermuda, it’s now classified as Category 4.

Two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue — sponsored by the Philadelphia Fire Department — have deployed to Puerto Rico as part of a federal response team. They’ll be there for up to two weeks.

Nonprofit and mutual aid groups in the Caribbean and across the U.S. are also mobilizing to help. In Philadelphia, home to the second-largest Puerto Rican population in the U.S. outside of Puerto Rico itself, local efforts are also underway.

Unidos PA’ PR — a coalition of 40+ local orgs that banded together to support Hurricane Maria relief and recovery efforts in 2017 — has relaunched to help raise funds for relief, particularly in rural Puerto Rico.

Other local groups have started up aid initiatives, too. Read on for info on how you can help.

Know of other Hurricane Fiona relief efforts in Philly? Let us know at tips@billypenn.com.

Donate money

Unidos PA’ PR is collecting donations through text message — send “PRFIONA2022” to 44321 if you want to donate. Made up of dozens of nonprofits, the collective managed to raise $400,000 for relief efforts following Hurricane Maria, per 6ABC.

Coalition member and Latino family services organization Concilio plans to use its Puerto Rican Day Parade this weekend as an opportunity to both have fun and solicit donations toward the cause, the Inquirer reported.

The local Puerto Rican and Latino arts and culture organization Taller Puertorriqueño has started a fund to help with hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico too, and it’s already raised over $4,000. Money from the fund will be channeled to community-based orgs on the island, including IDEBAJO, Taller Salud, and Comedores Socieles, according to a Facebook post.

All funds will directly support communities and first responders on the ground with things like food, water, shelter, and medical services, per Taller PR’s fundraising page.

The Philly nonprofit Congreso de Latinos Unidos has encouraged monetary donations to the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce. Per a NPRCC Facebook post, those donations will help a network of trusted allies doing work in Puerto Rico.

Donate supplies

Local grassroots organization Philly Boricuas is collecting physical supplies for folks on the ground in Puerto Rico.

They’re looking for:

  • Water filters
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Rope
  • Hygiene products
  • Solar chargers
  • Satellite radios
  • Satellite phones
  • First aid kits
  • Backpacks
  • Wipes
  • Dry can baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Medical supplies
  • Notebooks
  • Pens
  • Trash bags
  • Ponchos

To offer your support, you can get in touch with the aid effort’s point person, Charito Morales, at phillyboricuas@gmail.com or 215-847-0256.

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