FEMA: Send solar panels, MREs, and LifeStraws to Puerto Rico!
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A week after Hurricane Maria demolished Puerto Rico's power grid, the majority of Puerto Ricans are still without any power, still sitting in the dark, are running out of food, and have been unable to communicate with their loved ones on the Mainland, who are frantic to know whether they are alright.
Just imagine yourself, your children, your elderly parents in this situation: clean water for washing and drinking is scarce, especially in rural areas, and people have been using water from steams and springs, without any way to purify it. Temperatures are 85-90. And now, many people have gone for several days without food, with no end in sight.
Solar panels and storage batteries are relatively cheap, setting up a small solar power system is simple, and LifeStraws (and other portable water purification devices) have been used all over the world to make any water safe to drink. Solar power systems also do not require a continuous supply of gas or diesel -- Puerto Rico is an ideal site for solar power, having abundant sunshine, with minimal vegetation to block it since the hurricane has destroyed the tree canopy.
Although an inability to move around the island has been blamed for the lack of movement of supplies, it seems that various news organizations are getting around, and we have all seen the US Military move massive quantities of trucks and munitions around in mountainous war zones whenever they need to. Why hasn't the Military deployed Chinook helicopters to transport supplies around the island? Why wasn't the Military pre-positioned around the island in advance of Hurricane Maria, as they were in Florida?
FEMA needs to IMMEDIATELY set up small solar power systems in each neighborhood area to supply electricity, and airdrop MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and LifeStraws to purify surface water, while people are awaiting further aid.
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