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hurricane season

Hurricane María Lessons + How to Help Puerto Rico

Lifestyle, wellness, Real TalkMaría Elena RodríguezComment
hurricane maria puerto rico

To say this has been one of the most challenging days of modern day Puerto Rico is truly an understatement. Everything that we have been warned for years, has now exploded in our faces. From our weak infrastructure, electricity, flood zones and our dreaded territorial status. But before I get all fired up and political, I just want to be clear that I want to make this blog post as positive as possible, due the circumstances. Because we need it. People ARE dying in my Island because of the lack of food and no access to potable water, while that crazy dude in the White House tweets that FEMA can't be in Puerto Rico for much longer. 

Everyday feels like I'm about to break down, but I cope. I keep walking and trying to find collateral beauty. Because I am fortunate to have the basics: food, water and a roof over my head. Because if I don't go out with a positive mind and ready to do what needs to be done, I know I could go nuts. But for those who aren't as fortunate as you who is reading this post possibly from a functioning cellphone or me, stick through the end of this post for ways you can help Hurricane María's Relief in Puerto Rico. 

hurricane maria puerto rico

Hurricane María Lessons:

Natural disasters can happen any time and any place, so you should always be aware. There's no such thing as being too prepared. 

  1. Invest in hurricane proof windows and/or protect them before the hurricane hits.

  2. Always keep at least 3 months worth of food and water stored in your home - There is nothing scarier than knowing that you could be without food and water even for a day. Also, it is very humbling!

  3. Keep flashlights in hand.

  4. External battery packs for your phones are a must. Tip: Charge your laptops so you have an extra battery pack before the power goes out.

  5. Always keep an extra stack of cash safely stored in your home. - The lines for ATM in Puerto Rico have been crazy due to the collapse of credit card systems.

  6. Never go less than 1/4 of gas in your car tank. - Or better yet, use alternate ways of transportation like a bike or walk where you need to go. And if you don't need to go outside, stay and let the proper authorities take care of the disaster.

  7. Practice patience every day - That way, when shit hits the fan and people around are losing it, you will have the right tools to manage it. Practicing yoga has helped me a lot with this! (Here's the Yoga Series I've been following)

  8. The elderly need triple the care in case of emergency. Be prepared! - This was particular difficult for my family. My grandmother needs an oxygen tank delivered every other day. So since the delivery trucks where attending other emergencies, we ended up looking for ways to turn her electricity-charged oxygen machine by making 8 hour long gas lines in order to turn on the generator for her home. Every. Day. For a week.

  9. Emergency situations bring out the best and the worst in people.

  10. Mother Nature is alive and we should respect her by being kind. It's all about harmony; live and let live.

  11. I never knew how much I loved Puerto Rico until I saw it broken down into pieces. I took for granted the fact that I live in a paradise filled with beautiful nature.

  12. Robbers make a feast in national emergencies. - Be extra cautious of your belongings and specially the security of your home!

  13. Puerto Rico's political status is plain sad. - Let's leave it there.

  14. Actions speak louder than words. - Get your hands dirty or get out of the way!

  15. Nothing will change a human being as much as surviving a natural disaster. - Like for example, you learn that you actually don't need to sleep in air conditioning every day, have a water heater (I mean, Puerto Rico is in the middle of the Caribbean! or even eat three times a day to survive.

  16. I have a roof, I have access to water and I have food, therefore I am rich.

puerto rico hurricane maria

How to Help Puerto Rico Recover from Hurricane María

American Red Cross - Make sure you're in fact donating for Hurricane María relief.

Ricky Martin Foundation - The donation will be made via You Caring Crowdfunding. 

Bethenny - We should all be grateful for this Real Housewife, who went above and beyond helping our little Island and raising awareness about the crisis we're living through. 

Molusco - The most influential person in Puerto Rico is using his voice to collect donations and raise awareness of the situation. 

Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico - This foundation works hand in hand with Feeding America. 

Bloom Box - Fellow Puertorrican Blogger, Natasha Bonet is fundraising to purchase first necessity items for women in the Island. For things like sanitary napkins and tampons, which is something that gets neglected in many donations. Thanks Natasha! 

One last thing... 

Watching Trump tweet and engage in his crazy politics is hard. But watching him personally insult and mistreat your people is truly heart breaking. So I couldn't end this blog post without saying this: Trump, eres un pendejo. #PuertoRicoSeLevanta

Until next time, 

María Elena

How to Help Hurricane Irma Victims

Lifestyle, wellnessMaría Elena RodríguezComment

Not even going to lie. I was scared AF about Hurricane Irma going through Puerto Rico and wiping us all out of the map. I was all over the place last Tuesday looking for ways to make my house as wind/ water proof as possible in order to survive. Thankfully, and I honestly don't know how, Hurricane Irma ended up affecting us far less than we ever thought. All because Irma decided to go a little farther north once it was over us. We are safe, with some fallen trees and no power for a few days, which is no biggie compared to what could've happened. 

But I can't help but feel some kind of guilt given the fact that some of the islands in the Lesser Antilles with much less resources than Puerto Rico ended up devastated by Irma. Islands like Barbuda, which according to CNN 95% of their buildings are destroyed, British Virgin Islands, Anguila and St. Maarten ended up losing practically everything. Even our municipal island, Culebra suffer some hard damages!

Basically, it didn't feel right to create another blog post about my usual topics while these horrible hurricanes, earthquakes and wild fires keep happening in the world, all at the same time. So here are some ways you can help relief Hurricane Irma's victims:

How to help from Puerto Rico:

1. Hima San Pablo Hospital in Caguas

The hospital is receiving victims from the islands affected by Irma. Here's what they need:

  • French and Dutch Translators: If you are or you know someone who speaks one of these languages, please call  787-653-6060 offering your services. 
  • Necessities: Men and women pj's, blankets, towels, socks, adult diapers (large and x-large), dehodorant, wet wipes, soap, tooth paste, tooth brush, pillows, shampoo and razors. You can leave these articles from Monday to Friday 8AM-5PM at the Hospital's first floor.
  • Contact: 787-653-6060
  • Address: 100 Avenida Luis Muñoz Marín, Caguas PR

2. SUP Action

The Paddleboard company in San Juan is receiving all articles in their facilities in order to send them over to the Lesser Antilles. Here's what they need: 

  • Canned Food
  • Water bottles
  • Food in good conditions
  • Shoes
  • First Aid Kits
  • Baby diapers
  • Boxed Milk
  • Baby formula
  • Rice
  • Crackers
  • Bed sheets
  • Personal hygiene items

Address: San Juan Bay Marina (Under Sizzler restaurant)

Contact: (787) 637-2338 and (787) 608-6286

Seaborne Airlines:
They are collecting supplies of water, canned food, medicines and first aid kits and fly them over to the affected islands. They will be accepting donations until September 17 from 10:00 am until 4:00 PM. Here are the collection centers:

Roblex Aviation Center
Ave. Jose (Tony) Santana
World Cargo Building B
Carolina, PR 00979

USVI (St. Croix)
Seaborne Airlines Seaplane Base
1210 Watergut

*Due to security reasons, Seaborne requests all donations be brought in good condition boxes —not sealed and ready for inspection.

More information here.

3. American Red Cross + Gustazos

Gustazos joined forces with the American Red Cross. You can make a donation here. 

4. GreenCulebra.org 

We can't forget Culebra! This Puertorrican municipal island was the most affected by Irma. Green Culebra is an organization that provides help families and their kids in Culebra. You can bring first necessity items to the following places:

  • Santurce - Estudio 110  (939-337-2410)
  • Coamo - Buggys Cafe
  • Arecibo/Manati - Rubén (787-306-3608)
  • Aguadilla - Ashley (939-275-2222)

5. Fundación Banco Popular (Puerto Rico Abraza las Islas)

You can make a donation through Banco Popular de Puerto Rico's Foundation in any of the following ways:

  • Account Deposit: #030-043-069
  • ATH Móvil: 787-223-7300

More information here

6. Sea Ventures Pro Dive Centers (Culebra support)

You can head over to Marina Puerto del Rey in Fajardo and bring your donations over to Sea Ventures Pro Dive Centers. They will be receiving donations Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12 from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM. 

For more information, you can check out their Facebook event here.

If you know of any other way to help relief Hurricane Irma victims, please leave it in a comments bellow and I'll do my best to incorporate it in the post as soon as I can. 

And to everyone in Florida, please be safe! 

Until next time, 

María Elena