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Hurricane Maria Update

T.J. Porter

William "T.J." Porter was a 13-year Air Force veteran, law enforcement officer, and world traveler before diving into Emergency Management with the American Red Cross as a Government Operations Liaison. He found TR in 2012 and has served as Planning Manager for Region VIII, Intelligence Analyst, and Incident Commander on the Incident Management Team.

After Hurricane Maria swept through the Caribbean, Team Rubicon is providing aid in Puerto Rico and Dominica.

Puerto Rico

Team Rubicon’s two-man recon team safely landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sept. 25, and four additional personnel joined them on Sept. 26. The recon team, in concert with the Department of Health and Human Services, assessed major hospitals today for structural damage, operability, and supply needs reporting all hospitals were operational, well-staffed, and had sufficient supplies. Much of the island, however, is lacking the ability to communicate due to a widespread power outage and generators dedicated to maintaining high-priority buildings such as hospitals, which could potentially be affected by fuel shortages.

This weekend, Team Rubicon formally launched an operation to support the ongoing response and recovery efforts on the island. We’re deploying additional personnel to Puerto Rico to support the distribution of medical supplies and necessities in coordination with local and state authorities, conduct community needs assessments in coordination with FEMA, and provide debris removal and chainsaw operations with assistance from local volunteers.

Recommendations for those looking to get in touch with loved ones in Puerto Rico:

Dominica

On Sept. 25, Team Rubicon deployed a team to the Caribbean island of Dominica to provide emergency medical assistance in the wake of Hurricane Maria at the request of the Pan-American Health Organization. Seven volunteers are currently deployed on Operation Sisserou Summons.

Approximately 80 percent of the 74,000 residents on the island were impacted by the hurricane, and the main hospital in the capital city of Roseau was damaged and is operating with limited capacity. Team Rubicon’s medical team landed safely on the island today, and the operation is expected to last up to 14 days.

The medical team safely arrived to Dominica on Sept. 27.

Medical professionals interested in serving with our team are encouraged to check out this blog post detailing the selection process for utilizing those skills in disaster zones with Team Rubicon.