Local organizations prepare for storm recovery in Puerto Rico


(WTNH)– Crews are still in the field cleaning from Hurricane Maria, but with hurricane season approaching, prevention plans are forming.

Tropical Storm Dorian, which has not yet been categorized as a hurricane, is expected to hit parts of Puerto Rico. According to Salvation Army Project Director for Long-term Recovery Mike Orfitelli, their teams learned the hard way to always prepare for a big hit.

“We know it could potentially create problems for people,” Orfitelli said. “We have to take all [storms] as a serious threat.”

Salvation Army and Save the Children are monitoring the storm from Connecticut and from Puerto Rico ensuring they will have the resources to cover the storm.

Orfitelli said their team is keeping tabs on not only Puerto Rico, but the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well.

“We are checking our water supply, checking our equipment and letting people know we’re prepared,” Orfitelli said.

The Salvation Army team stationed in Puerto Rico is ready at their new 15,000-square-foot warehouse with tents and supplies for any damage to homes. According to Orfitelli, they have spent millions of dollars on furniture and appliances to supply to Puerto Rican residents.

Orfitelli wants to make sure that locals are prepared for the storm, as well. He recently ran a preparation course in the Virgin Islands for locals. Some locals have also been hired to help with case management.

The next project, Orfitelli said, is to install four hydroponics facilities and a community garden on the island that locals will be hired to operate. These should be finished with the next 4-6 months.

Even though Dorian is not supposed to hit Puerto Rico directly, Orfitelli said they are prepared to handle any disaster.

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