The Devastating Impact of Hurricane Maria


Surrounding areas, like Dominica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the United States Virgin
Islands, and Guadeloupe, also suffered tremendous losses. Many residents in the affected
areas still lack clean drinking water and electricity, despite the overwhelming amount of aid
that has been directed toward them. The struggle to transport supplies is mainly attributed to
the crumbling infrastructure. Roads are either completely destroyed or blocked by fallen
power lines and other debris. Communication is extremely difficult, while the state of
healthcare is alarming. Disease is rapidly spreading through contaminated floodwaters while
already ill and injured residents struggle to receive proper treatment. Many machines do not
operate without electricity and hospital supplies are running dangerously low.

Residents of the continental United States have been striving to use social media and other
websites as vessels of communication with loved ones in impacted areas. Other resources
havebeen extended to affected people in effort to create a simple yet ultimately successful
communication network. Safe and Well is an American Red Cross website that allows people
to register themselves as “safe” and to search for friends and family.

While many other areas were severely impacted by this storm, conditions in Puerto Rico have
remained the focal point of attention. Other locations have been largely overlooked by
authorities and relief organizations alike. Inhabitants of the United States Virgin Islands are
still recovering from previous major hurricanes, all while being without drinking water and
electricity. The damage in Dominica, Hurricane Maria’s first point of attack, is extensive.
Massive industries, like agriculture and tourism, have been almost entirely obliterated.
Homes are demolished, vegetation has been stripped away from the land.

If you would like to help people impacted by Hurricane Maria, there are several viable options.
Cash donations can be directly donated to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico at
www.unitedforpuertorico.com. Information for other kinds of donations as well as volunteering
opportunities can be accessed through any of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in
Disaster. One small donation and/or action can make a tremendous difference in the lives of
those impacted by this terrible natural disaster.