September 21, 2022
Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvHGdfXIG2M
Initial Team Arrived in Puerto Rico Tuesday, Larger Multi-Agency Team Deploying This Week to Include Members of New York City Emergency Response Agencies
New York City Stands Ready to Assist Dominican Republic, Other Affected Countries, as Damage Is Assessed
NEW YORK – As Hurricane Fiona leaves the Caribbean, New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that an additional team of New York City employees will deploy to Puerto Rico and assist officials already there as they survey the damage caused by the hurricane. The team will join representatives from the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (PREMA), the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and other emergency responders to assess damages to infrastructure and essential services caused by the heavy rains, floods, and wind. The team will include representatives from New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM), New York City Department of Buildings, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the New York City Department of Design and Construction. NYCEM continues to monitor the situation in the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries, and the city stands ready to provide additional aid to those affected countries.
"Once again, our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean countries are facing darkness because of a devastating hurricane. With Hurricane Fiona leaving the region, we know that this is a painful moment for so many here in our city and across the globe," said Mayor Adams. "New York City stands with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and all affected countries. A first group of emergency responders are already on the ground, ready to respond and assess the needs, and we are ready, willing, and able to send additional assistance needed to those impacted by this devastating storm. I want to thank all the staff at NYCEM, and all our first responders, for their work aiding all those affected."
"New Yorkers will always rise to the occasion to help those in need," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. "As home to some of the finest emergency responders in the world, we are proud to lend our resources, expertise, and support to the Hurricane Fiona recovery effort."
"Our city has strong ties to the people of Puerto Rico and we are proud to answer this call beyond the five boroughs to assist them," said NYCEM Commissioner Zach Iscol. "Rebuilding is daunting. It requires a strong commitment and collaboration with other agencies, governments, and private sector partners. As we have in the past, our team is dedicated to this work and will be with the people of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other countries in the days ahead."
"New York, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic share deep ties and the common experience of facing stronger and more frequent coastal storms brought on by the climate crisis," said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, executive director, Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. "We are ready to support this multi-agency effort to assist the people of the Caribbean as they embark on the challenging journey of rebuilding and strengthening infrastructure, services, and whole communities to make them more resilient."
The city encourages people to make donations through trusted nonprofits. The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City has created a webpage, which directs those interested in donating to those affected by Hurricane Fiona to some trusted nonprofits.
Yesterday, a team of emergency management specialists deployed to Puerto Rico to assess the damage and needs of Puerto Ricans. In coordination with FEMA and PREMA representatives, this team is connecting with San Juan, as well as smaller localities to understand the needs and how New York City can help. A larger multi-agency team of 11 specialists and first responders is deploying to Puerto Rico later this week to support ongoing relief efforts and operations, including helping to rebuild connectivity for smaller municipalities and removing downed trees. The city continues to monitor the ongoing situation in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and all affected countries for further support it can provide.
"Hurricane Fiona has caused significant damage to the island of Puerto Rico, leaving many of the over 3 million American citizens without basic needs like electricity, clean water, and other critical items we take for granted," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "In times of such crisis, it's important we all come together to provide Puerto Rico with the necessary tools to rebuild stronger than ever and be able to weather future storms."
"The people of Puerto Rico desperately need help and we have to be there for our fellow Americans on the island," said U.S. Representative Grace Meng. "I thank Mayor Adams for deploying first responders and other personnel to help our brothers and sisters during this devastating time, and in Congress, I will work with my colleagues to ensure that Puerto Rico has the assistance it needs to recover. We have to also make sure that the island has a reliable and sustainable power grid to help guard against future mass outages. Residents of Puerto Rico have been through so much. Many continue to recover from Hurricane Maria, and should not be forced to consistently suffer through these conditions. I ask all New Yorkers to keep the people of Puerto Rico in their prayers as we work to help them get back on their feet."
"We have witnessed catastrophic devastation across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and it will require a multi-level government approach to ensure vital resources to the region and in a timely manner," said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. "I have been working with authorities in the region to address what resources are needed and it will require a whole of government approach to ensuring assistance is available to help individuals and families who need our support now more than ever. I commend Mayor Adams on this initiative and deployment plan to reaffirm our commitment to our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico."
"Today the mayor's announcement to provide aid echoes what we are called to do whenever our Puerto Rican siblings on the island need our help," said New York State Senator Robert Jackson. "Fiona presented the island with additional challenges and tragedy. And while the people are resilient, we will continue to stand in solidarity with the commitment to deliver needed resources to aid in their full recovery."
"As a Puerto Rican the damage of Hurricane Fiona is deeply personal. The painful feelings we hold are heightened because of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria. But as a city with a large population of Puerto Ricans we have a responsibility to act and provide support where we can. I'm grateful for this allocation of staff to Puerto Rico as helping the island recover will take all of us," said New York State Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas.
"My prayers go out to the victims affected by Hurricane Fiona. In unfortunate situations such as this one, there should be several ways in which we can all collectively assist Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean," said New York State Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman.
“We stand with Puerto Ricans in their time of need, sending our city’s finest civil servants and emergency responders to assess the island’s infrastructure and essential services following Hurricane Fiona. At a time when 1.2 million people in Puerto Rico are without power, and 27% of the island has no running water, we are bringing government, community organizations and people power to deliver immediate aid to seniors, children, and all those who are vulnerable in this time of emergency,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar.
"The city's efforts to assist the people of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the wake of Hurricane Fiona's devastating impact are an important first step in what will need to be fully coordinated national, state and private relief efforts to Caribbean residents coping with disaster," said New York State Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright. "Our heartfelt prayers and enduring support will be needed in the days and months ahead."
""When disaster strikes, New Yorkers come together to help our friends in need," said New York State Assemblymember Al Taylor. "Hurricane Fiona has caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other areas of the Caribbean only five years after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, leaving millions without power and without access to clean water. I applaud Mayor Adams and New York City's quick response to this crisis through the deployment of emergency responders, and New York stands ready to continue offering our support however we can in the days and weeks to come."
"As New Yorkers, it is our duty to look out for the brother and sisters of those who make this city great," said New York State Assemblymember Yudelka Tapia. "We've done this before with Maria and Fiona is no exception. I'm glad to join Mayor Adams in his effort in making sure that our Puerto Rican and Dominican brothers and sisters come back from this devastating mess."
"Five years after Hurricane Maria, the people on the island of Puerto Rico have once again been devastated by another hurricane in Fiona that has only reopened the wounds of multiple past disasters and unfulfilled commitments to recovery from them," said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. "Our city shares a unique and close relationship with Puerto Rico, and it's critical that commitments to relief efforts on the island are fulfilled. The council will be an active contributor to the ongoing recovery that provides aid to the residents of Puerto Rico and advocacy for the appropriate policies and resources that support it."
"As a city with a large Puerto Rican community, the devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona hits home. In Brooklyn, the wreckage caused by the hurricane especially impacts the communities of Bushwick, Sunset Park, and other Puerto Rican-rich neighborhoods," said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. "Thank you, Mayor Adams, for understanding our responsibility and mobilizing resources to help Puerto Rico's rise from yet another climate-related natural disaster."
"As New Yorkers, we always step up to help our neighbors in times of crisis and the situation in Puerto Rico is no different," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "We are grateful to the mayor for bringing together emergency responders including representatives from the Puerto Rican Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the New York City Emergency Management, the New York City Department of Buildings, and the New York City Fire Department, to support officials in Puerto Rico surveying and assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona. We will not forget our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and will continue to work with our elected officials and credible messengers on the ground to ensure we work collectively to efficiently bring resources to our neighbors on the island."
"Five years ago today, Hurricane Maria was inflicting unimaginable suffering on the people of Puerto Rico. With the consequences of Hurricane Fiona's flooding rain and destructive winds threatening to take the island back to the uncertain days of 2017, I'm proud that New York City is stepping up to support our sixth borough to the south," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. "As the Adams administration announced today, this borough and this city will be there every step of the way as Puerto Rico once again puts its unshakable resilience on display in the face of Mother Nature's fury."
"The hearts of all New Yorkers are with those impacted by Hurricane Fiona as they begin to recover from the devastation of this disastrous and destructive storm," said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. "I commend the mayor and our incredible emergency management leaders for providing critical assistance and expertise to help quickly restore essential services to those communities that have suffered such catastrophic damage."
"My heart goes out to the people of Puerto Rico as they begin to pick up the pieces following the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, five years after Hurricane Maria," said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. "Puerto Rico is an integral part of the American fabric and we must do all we can to extend support and resources. I commend the administration for sending a coalition of our city agency staff to support the response efforts."
"This immediate action to assist Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona makes me incredibly proud to be a New Yorker," said New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher. "As the island recovers from another devastating storm, our city will do everything we can to support them. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams and his team for taking care of those who need us most."
"Puerto Rico is a home away from home for so many of my neighbors and constituents. New York City and Puerto Rico have long been connected and today is no different," said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. "I am proud to see New York City stepping up by sending a team of employees down to the island to help in its critical time of need. It is crucial that we as local government send supports in forms that's requested like boots on the ground and financial aid, to local Puerto Rican community-based organizations on the island and take their lead on how to help. I hope to see this continued leadership from my colleagues in government on taking the lead from organizers on the island as we move towards the recovery of Puerto Rico."
"No part of Puerto Rico has been spared devastation in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. We must not forget about the immense struggles of the people of Puerto Rico, and we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past which have left people in the dark without a connection to their families or a way to travel to safety," said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. "I applaud the emergency responders of New York City for going to aid with the cleanup and recovery of Puerto Rico and thank Mayor Adams for his support."
"Almost five years to the day of Hurricane Maria's relentless battering of Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans once again find themselves at the mercy of another vicious storm," said New York City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca. "Hurricane Fiona has proven to be a catastrophic storm, but as in the past, New York City is and will always be Puerto Rico's most steadfast ally. Today's announcement of New York City's emergency responders joining the relief effort on the island is another example of this ironclad bond. As a proud Puerto Rican, I thank Mayor Eric Adams and his administration for their continued support of Puerto Ricans in our greatest time of need."
"It is so important to help our neighbors, especially our neighbors from Puerto Rico whose families are hurting right now," said New York City Councilmember Lynn Schulman. "Thank you to Mayor Adams for sending humanitarian assistance to the more than one million Puerto Ricans who have lost electricity and are without clean drinking water."
"The devastation in Puerto Rico has brought back far too many memories of the destruction that Hurricane Maria left five years ago," said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. "In times like this, we must stand together and support our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico during their time of need. I am extremely grateful to the mayor's swift response to provide aid and support to ensure the resources are delivered to the hands of the people. We must ensure that we are not letting history repeat itself and that we are proactive by providing immediate support. Puerto Rico is part of the United States and must be treated as such."
"It is inspiring to see how quickly New York City communities and city agencies have mobilized to respond to this climate emergency. For New Yorkers, large pockets of whom are Caribbean immigrants, the devastating impact of Hurricane Fiona hits close to home," said New York City Council Member Carmen De La Rosa. "In Uptown, we've seen local organizations and volunteers gather resources and funding quite quickly, and those efforts are growing as we continue to monitor the situation closely. Our hearts are with the people of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. We are resilient, and we will continue working to ensure the needs of those impacted are met."