As Hurricane Maria barrels through Puerto Rico, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Harlem City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito announced efforts the City is making to help with the recovery. In addition to deploying 36 members of the Urban Search and Rescue New York Task Force 1 to Puerto Rico, the City is also deploying NYC Emergency Management employees with expertise in logistics, debris management, operations, and recovery to San Juan to assist in Puerto Rico’s Emergency Operations Center.
“New Yorkers have always helped out our neighbors in times of need, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we stand ready to provide assistance to Puerto Rico. City employees can help out in several ways, including volunteering on the island to support what is expected to be a months long recovery process, or through donations made to the Mayor’s Fund by enrolling in a payroll deduction,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I join the Mayor in putting out this call for volunteers and extend my gratitude to anyone who helps contribute to relief efforts. My thoughts are with the Puerto Rican community during this difficult time, and I want to stress that we New York City will offer help however possible.”
On Thursday, City employees will receive an email informing them of the option to make a donation from their paychecks to Hurricane Maria relief efforts. The funds, which will be directed through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will be distributed to organizations working to support the 3.5 million Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean residents who have been impacted by this storm. The City will also be identifying firehouses across the five boroughs where people can donate specific items needed for recovery: batteries, diapers, baby food, and first aid.
Once it is determined which skill sets are needed from volunteers, the City will work with the Mayor of San Juan to make sure that New York City employees who wish to volunteer will have assistance in doing so. Those who possess relevant and needed skillset will be especially needed and the City will connect those employees to organizations already working on the ground.
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