New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Sept. 29 the deployment of additional personnel and medical supplies to Puerto Rico through the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort. The State deployed 72 Port Authority personnel from the agency's Aviation, Port and Police departments, as well as the Office of Emergency Management, following an advance team of five that had already departed. Governor Cuomo also deployed 53 members of the State Police assist with security operations and 10 additional experts from the New York Power Authority to aid the Puerto Rican government with its ongoing power restoration efforts. In addition, a shipment of critical medication and supplies organized by New York State departed from Republic Airport bound for San Juan, Vieques, and Culebra.
These deployments are all part of the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico.
"New York will continue to stand with the people of Puerto Rico during every step of their recovery, and these experts and resources will help our brothers and sisters rebuild and stay safe," Governor Cuomo said. "I am proud these fine New Yorkers have answered the call to help our fellow Americans in their moment of need, and I thank them for their service."
Port Authority Emergency Personnel
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has deployed a 77-member team of emergency personnel and support equipment to assist Puerto Rico. The team will be entirely self-sufficient to preserve limited food supplies and other resources on the island for its residents. Staffers from the Port Authority's Aviation Department are poised to help counterparts at San Juan International Airport and other airfields resume full flight operations. Employees of the agency's Port Department will assist in damage assessments at the Port of San Juan to help get shipping commerce back in operation. Port Authority Police will send officers to provide security services. The agency's Office of Emergency Management also will send support equipment and members of its staff to provide assistance.
The State Police has deployed 53 troopers to assist with security operations. Mission priorities include protecting commodities and fuel and securing the supply chains to ensure that the resources are distributed to people who need them most.
New York Power Authority Experts
The NYPA team will join NYPA technicians currently deployed in Puerto Rico, who have embedded into the emergency response team overseen by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The 10 new personnel are subject matter experts in power transmission, generation, substations, utility logistics, project management, construction and power system energization. The NYPA team will coordinate directly with the United States Army Corp of Engineers and PREPA to help restore the damaged electric system. It will also help coordinate the necessary utility mutual assistance process with the American Public Power Association and the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council on the United States mainland. The enhanced NYPA team in Puerto Rico will now exceed 20 energy and construction logistics experts, as well as two drone pilots from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
In partnership with the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Afya Foundation, a Yonkers-based non-profit organization that collects and delivers surplus medical supplies to support humanitarian efforts and health crises worldwide, the first shipment left Friday morning from Republic Airport with priority for Hospital Susana Centeno on the island of Vieques, the University Pediatric Hospital in San Juan, and for the health care community on the island of Culebra. GNYHA donated syringes, and more than five thousand doses of vaccine and medication for conditions such as tetanus, infections, diabetes management and pain relief. Other supplies donated through Afya include basic first aid, over-the-counter medication and suture kits.
For more information about the recovery and relief efforts underway in Puerto Rico, and to learn how you can assist, please visit the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico webpage.