5 things you need to know about what’s happening in Puerto Rico — and what you can do

Farmer Victor Lozada searches for items that can be salvage from his shed in Puerto Rico that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Friday, September 22, 2017.
Farmer Victor Lozada searches for items that can be salvage from his shed in Puerto Rico that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Friday, September 22, 2017.

Though Hurricane Maria is long gone from Puerto Rico, the island’s people are still struggling to cope with the chaos and destruction the storm left behind.

After Maria left the entire U.S. territory in the dark, communications on the island have been nearly severed, with only a sliver of phone reception having been restored over the weekend.

Here are some important updates provided to the Miami Herald from WIPR, Puerto Rico’s public radio station.

▪ No. 1 — The airport control towers are operating in limited ways. Many flights for Wednesday and beyond have been or will be canceled. In addition, flights can land only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and priority is being given to military and humanitarian flights.

▪ No. 2 — Cellphone company Claro will be installing more than 50 power generators to start restoring portions of cellphone service. Other communication companies are working to restore their antennas and services.

▪ No. 3 — Landlines are starting to work in the southwest area.

▪ No. 4 — Gasoline trucks are being escorted by police and military personnel so that more stations can quickly get gas to sell. Some stations, such as Puma and Total Gas, have placed a cap on gas purchases — a $10 limit for each car.

▪ No. 5 — Ready-made foods will be sold tax-free for two weeks on the island.

Other things you should know

▪ Puerto Rico has a curfew in place from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

▪ Roughly 25 percent of the population has drinkable water.

▪ Barges carrying water, tarps and generators began to arrive at the pier in San Juan over the weekend.

▪ All military reserve personnel in Puerto Rico are on active duty.

More: Miami Dade College to help students from Puerto Rico

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How to help Puerto Rico

▪ The Puerto Rican Leadership Council is collecting donations of nonperishable food, diapers, bottled water and clothing. For more information, contact Luis De Rosa at

▪ The Miami Foundation is accepting donations for Caribbean islands impacted by Maria and Irma, including Antigua and Barbuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Donations can be made at

▪ Beatriz Rosselló, the wife of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, has created an initiative to support hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Donations can be made at

▪ Donate to Operation Helping Hands, a partnership between United Way of Miami-Dade, the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald, Univision 23 and JCS Switchboard. Visit, call 800-226-3320 or send a check payable to Operation Helping Hands, c/o United Way of Miami-Dade, P.O. Box 459007, Miami, FL 33245-9007.

▪ UNICEF is accepting donations for earthquake victims at and for victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria at

▪ Help sort through, categorize, box and load tons of relief supplies that are pouring in to get them where they are most needed. Daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mana Wynwood, 2251 NW Fifth Ave., Miami. Sign up for night shifts at

▪ Friends of Puerto Rico, a Washington-based non-profit, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club in Puerto Rico. Donations for the hurricane effort will be invested to rebuild Puerto Rico through the 10 centers managed by the Boys & Girls Club in Puerto Rico located in San Juan, Bayamón, Carolina, Loíza, Isabela, Arecibo, Mayagüez, Aguas Buenas, and San Lorenzo. Donations will be received through the website and through Facebook.

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