Humanitarian Crisis Continues in Puerto Rico

Bottled water and fuel distribution equipment are among the items that are desperately needed.

September 27, 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –This week, San Juan's mayor told CNN that the city is facing a humanitarian crisis, especially related to a shortage of bottled water and diesel fuel.

“We are finding dialysis patients that haven't been able to contact their providers, so we are having to transport them in near-death conditions,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told CNN. “We are finding people whose oxygen tanks are running out, because ... small generators now don't have any diesel.”

NACS has been in communication with people in Puerto Rico and the demand is highest for licensed drivers to move diesel fuel and other cargo on the island, fuel distribution equipment and bottled water. If you can offer assistance, please contact NACS Director of Strategic Initiatives Carolyn Schnare directly at or (703) 518-4248.

Also, NACS has partnered with the Red Cross to advance community giving and disaster relief programs for NACS member companies. Go to to learn other ways to help. The Red Cross also has information on disaster preparedness.

“This is truly a total disaster. Right now, the main problem is diesel distribution. Retailers have no electricity and operate with generators but without diesel they can’t. Neither can suppliers. The food will go bad and people are getting desperate. Government doesn't seem to have the ability to handle all that is going on and comprehend the need to establish difficult priorities,” said Manuel Reyes, executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Chamber for the Marketing and Distribution of the Food Industry.

Also, the private sector, together with Puerto Rico’s First Lady, has created the fund United For Puerto Rico And One America Appeal, which was formed by the five former Presidents to assist victims of Harvey and Irma, will now cover Maria’s victims as well.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s latest Infrastructure Security & Energy Restoration update provides updates on the recovery related to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Also, FEMA is raising awareness that Hurricane Maria disaster survivors, and their friends and family, should be alert for false rumors, scams, identity theft, and fraud. FEMA has a dedicated website to address some of the most common themes. Go to the agency’s Hurricane Rumor Control page for the most accurate information from trusted sources.

For those in declared areas and who are able to do so, registering online at is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance.