How to Help

If you're like us, your digital life is one big, fast news feed. Some of this news is messed up. How to Help works in the news cycle to connect you with ways to do something about the day's big stories.

How to Help Puerto Rico (Even if the Federal Government Won't)

How to Help Puerto Rico (Even if the Federal Government Won't)

The Trump Administration has announced that tomorrow it will "officially shut off" food and water aid to Puerto Rico.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) says this decision will enable it to refocus on longer-term rebuilding of the "normal economy".

There's only one problem with that plan:  not everyone in Puerto Rico has running water, and not all running water on the island is safe to drink.

Four months after the hurricane, an unknown number of Puerto Ricans are still without clean water.  Nearly a half-million have no power.

According to Mekela Panditharatne of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), "power and water are intimately connected", since water treatment depends on electricity.

 Source: Giphy (Donald Trump throwing paper towels at a Puerto Rican aid center, October 3, 2017)

Source: Giphy (Donald Trump throwing paper towels at a Puerto Rican aid center, October 3, 2017)

How to help remind the federal government about the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico

Contact FEMA Administrator Brock Long by phone (202.646.2500) or by tweet (FEMA_Brock) and urge him to maintain FEMA aid until everyone on the island has free access to clean drinking water.

Donate to the Hurricane Maria Community Relief and Recovery Fund, established by the Center for Popular Democracy to support local, equitable rebuilding efforts in the most vulnerable communities.

Follow #PuertoRicoStrong, #JustRecovery, and #OurPowerPR on Twitter for updates.

Keep in mind: the long history of US colonialism in Puerto Rico and how it impacts federal policy decisions.

Also: whenever you hear sunny reports side-by-side the federal government's abdication of responsibility in Puerto Rico, remember this quote from the White House memo that was leaked soon after the storm: "Then we start a theme of recovery planning for the bright future that lies ahead for Puerto Rico. Planned hits, tweets, tv bookings and other work will limit the need for reactionary efforts. The storm caused these problems, not our response to it."

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