Hurricane

Trying to contact family in Puerto Rico? Here’s who to call

Man walks up near colorful damaged buildings. Residents of San Juan's "La Perla" neighborhood have taken hurricane recovery into their own hands as they start the hard task of clean-up because of fear of being forgotten by the government. Hurricane Maria has left many of San Juan's streets flooded and blocked by fallen power lines, trees, and debris as Puerto Rico tries to recover from the Category 4 storm on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017.
Man walks up near colorful damaged buildings. Residents of San Juan's "La Perla" neighborhood have taken hurricane recovery into their own hands as they start the hard task of clean-up because of fear of being forgotten by the government. Hurricane Maria has left many of San Juan's streets flooded and blocked by fallen power lines, trees, and debris as Puerto Rico tries to recover from the Category 4 storm on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. cjuste@miamiherald.com

Families desperate to communicate with their loved ones in Puerto Rico — thrashed by the most ferocious storm to strike the territory in at least 85 years — have invaded the internet and flooded phone lines searching for ways to get in contact after Hurricane Maria knocked out power and most means of communication to the entire island.

Maria ripped through Puerto Rico on Wednesday, leaving the territory completely in the dark. As food and water have become more scarce, panicked family and friends in the mainland U.S. and beyond are being advised by the territory’s Federal Affairs Administration to do the following:

▪  Check the map below. Puerto Rico is divided into 12 zones. Each zone is comprised of various municipalities. Phone numbers are listed for all municipalities and for each region. These phone numbers will connect you with the nearest Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management office.

They can give you a better idea of what the conditions are like in specific areas.

Phone numbers are also listed at the bottom of this article.

LINK TO MAP: http://prfaa.pr.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Oficinas-Regionales.pdf

It’s likely that you won’t reach someone immediately, so be patient, officials warn.

If you don’t know what municipality or zone your loved one is in, you have a few options:

▪ Call the the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration’s Washington D.C. office at 202-800-3133 or 202-778-0710

Volunteers and staff are taking names and numbers and developing databases to check the welfare of people who remain unreachable or missing as the island begins to recover.

Officials say that agency is prioritizing emergency situations, like people who are in dyer need of medical attention. Staffers will reach out to first responders on the ground and dispatch help. In the last 48 hours, the office has received more than 10,000 calls.

Hurricane Maria destroyed the bridge connecting the highway to the isolated rural neighborhood of Palma Sola in Canóvanas in Puerto Rico.

▪  Call the island’s government radio station WIPR at 787-777-0940 or 787-766-0505, which is helping people figure out what zones their family members are in. You can also listen live for updates at 940 AM and 91.3 FM.

▪  Contact the island’s disaster relief team by e-mailing maria1@prfaa.pr.gov

Because of high volume, leaders are asking that you only send one email — no follow-ups — unless the status of your loved one has changed.

Include your contact information and as many details about your family member or friend as possible.

▪  The American Red Cross is also helping via an online database, where people can mark themselves safe.

To begin a search, contact your local Red Cross chapter. You can also call our free national helpline at 844-782-9441 or use the International Reconnecting Families Inquiry Form.

▪  Radio station WKAQ, which lost it’s roof during the storm, continues to broadcast news and can be listened to online.

HOW TO HELP

▪  Email maria2@prfaa.pr.gov

▪  Call: 202-800-3134

Follow Monique O. Madan on Twitter: @MoniqueOMadan

Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management offices

Zone Divisions

ZONE 1: San Juan

787-294-0277

ZONE 2: Vega Baja

787-965-7770

ZONE 3: Arecibo

787-878-3454

ZONE 4: Aguadilla

787-882-6871

ZONE 5: Mayaguez

787-833-7272 (ext. 7372, 9494, 9594)

ZONE 6: Ponce

787-844-8272

ZONE 7: Utuado

787-814-7680

ZONE 8:Comerio

787-867-7000

ZONE 9: Guayama

787-864-1600 (Ext 1690)

Zone 10: Caguas

787-656-9643 or 787-656-9642

ZONE 11:Humacao

787-852-4044

Zone 12: Ceiba

787-863-3330

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