Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico Aftermath: A Student Discussion
By Suzanne Lazar ’16, graduate student, SUNY Empire State College; editor, The Student Connection
November 27, 2017
It has been two months since Category 4 Hurricane Maria ripped through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, leaving close to $95 billion in damages. Electricity, water, and telecommunications, still continue to be very limited for people and many relatives and close friends are still not able to see or talk to residents of these broken communities.
This natural disaster has not only affected people, homes, dwellings, and material things, but it’s caused great distress to social and economic factors.
As disaster relief efforts continue to make their way throughout communities and cities in Puerto Rico, there is still an uneasy feeling of what to do next, and how to move forward. We may ask ourselves and others, questions such as:
- What can we learn from what has happened in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria?
- Are lessons from the Puerto Rico experience "generalizable" or are there unique circumstances related to the island’s pre-existing financial and infrastructure conditions?
- How will "environmental refugees" and the migration of Puerto Ricans and others in the Caribbean the socio-economic viability of the region?
- How has the environment impacted the recovery process?
- Should rebuilding everywhere be encouraged or restricted?
- How has being considered a "second class citizen" impacted Puerto Ricans and others?
These and other questions will be explored in dialogue with panelists from SUNY Empire State College on Wednesday, Dec 13 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. via the online and live video platform, Zoom https://zoom.us/j/765339782.
Please join Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers (moderator), Dr. Audeliz Matias, Dennise Rodriguez, and Dr. Himanee Gupta-Carlson (Discussant) for a collaborative discussion about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The forum is being offered with hopes of creating a space for the attendees and the community to try and describe the lessons we share, for discussing, outreaching, coping, and preventing future urban disasters.