City professionals head to Puerto Rico to help after earthquakes
A group from New York City is heading to Puerto Rico to help in earthquake recovery efforts.
Among them are nine mental health professionals and public health emergency management professionals, along with 16 building inspectors and engineers and seven emergency managers.
On Monday morning, they got on a bus to begin their emergency efforts.
New York City first lady Chirlane McCray and other leaders and professionals highlighted the need for assistance on the island of Puerto Rico, as they emphasized the toll disasters have on people. At the East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center on Monday, they shared stories of the people they say have lost a sense of security and have been suffering from issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt.
“There are a lot of people who don’t have basic security of knowing that they have access to safe shelter,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “So that is a very fundamental, ongoing trauma to the system.”
They said that the unpredictable nature of the earthquakes that have hit Puerto Rico the past month has left many people fearful, which is why mental health will be a focus of this team.
This is the third team from New York City to go to Puerto Rico, as already more than 60 people have gone to help. Many of them are still there.
Officials are saying this help is crucial to the people of Puerto Pico, which many call the city’s sixth borough, to help recover.