Puerto Rico's Hurricane Response Plan (Or Lack Thereof)

For months, Puerto Rican officials have falsely claimed they are prepared for another hurricane.

After the catastrophic Hurricane Maria, it was clear that Puerto Rico needed a hurricane response plan and they needed it fast.  So when Governor Ricardo Rosselló and other officials claimed they already had such a plan as of early September, it came as a relief to many. Officials assured Puerto Rican citizens that the government was well-prepared and that no lives would be in danger during any future disasters.  However, new information has recently surfaced that has proved all these promises to be false.  This past Tuesday (October 30th, 2018), Tania Fernández Medero, an attorney for the Puerto Rican government, stunningly confessed in front of a San Juan courtroom that there is still not an official document that outlines a hurricane response plan.

"The agency is still working on those plans so that it can hire people who specialize in producing those types of emergency response plans. So, as of today they aren't available. As of today, they don't exist." -- Tania Fernández Medero, Attorney At Law.

Rebuilding after a disaster is an extensively laborious process. Immense destruction means lots of time and money to rebuild.  Along with infrastructural repairs, officials must facilitate a tremendous amount of planning to prepare for future disasters. Properly planning is a crucial part of disaster recovery.  Emergency managers and government officials take note of what could be done better in the future and then incorporate that new knowledge into new plans. Although the Puerto Rican government seems dedicated to doing so, they lied about their progress.  This is both disturbing and unforgivable. Furthermore, this lie is strikingly reminiscent of their obfuscation of the death toll from Hurricane Maria. Both lies were total betrayals of their people. Like everyone else, the people of Puerto Rico deserve to have a government in which they can trust.  Furthermore, there is no time for dishonesty when planning for or recovering from natural disasters. Any numbers put forth must be accurate, and citizens should never be coaxed into trusting a system that isn’t ready for the next disaster. Emergency managers and government officials alike should be expected to tell the truth at all times, especially when thousands of lives are dependent on that truth.

Oliver SperansComment