Orlando Local News

Central Florida Nonprofits Prepare To Help Hurricane Fiona Victims

todaySeptember 19, 2022

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On Monday, September 19, Puerto Ricans woke up to destruction caused by a natural disaster yet again after Hurricane Fiona devastated the island.


What You Need To Know

  • Hurricane Fiona caused destruction in Puerto Rico

  • Local groups are working to help those impacted

  • One group is working to hand out solar-powered lamps

The Category-1 hurricane arrived on the same week as the five year anniversary of Hurricane Maria.

Laudi Campo with Hispanic Federation said discussions with other local nonprofits such as Alianza for Progress, Christ the King Episcopal Church, and Latino Leadership have occurred daily since last-Friday. She said they’re applying lessons they learned from Hurricane Maria to help the displaced.

“What we’re doing is we’re meeting with organizations have already worked with in the past that we already supported and we have a little more experience now.”

Campo said because the Hispanic Federation has an office in Puerto Rico they’ve already provided help on the island.

“What we did was to start handout solar lamps,” she said. “The Puerto Rico office already has handed out 11,000. We’re handing out 19,000 more once weather permits.”

Hurricane Maria dropped about 40 inches of rain, and the constant downpour from Hurricane Fiona dropped over 35 inches in some areas.

“The anguish yesterday, I mean PTSD, flows organically,” Karen Garnick, a San Juan Puerto Rico resident said.

The southern municipalities of Puerto Rico received the brunt of the damage, but Garnick said everyone was affected.

“We don’t have any power, we don’t have water or Internet but, other than that, we didn’t have any significant damages to our properties,” she said.

Haltillo Mayor Carlos Romàn Romàn said his first responders began prevention methods to limit the damage a week before the storm arrived.

He said it limited the damage in the northern municipality to downed trees that damaged homes.

“We helped rescue a woman whose roof was damaged in the storm and reunited her with a child in a nearby shelter,” he said.

According to Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi, there were over 128 shelters open across the island and so far over 2,100 people sought refuge in them.

Campo said Hispanic Federation opened a $100,000 fund to give directly to organizations that are on the ground. 

Campo said what’s needed now is cash donations to provide to nonprofits helping on the ground. She said 100 percent of donations made to the Hispanic Federation will be applied for that reason.

https://www.hispanicfederation.org/fionahelp/

The nonprofit also has a hotline (844) 432-9832 to help displaced Puerto Ricans who arrive in Central Florida.

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