How CT can help after Hurricane Fiona tore through Puerto Rico

Photo of Liz Hardaway
Homes are flooded on Salinas Beach after the passing of Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. 

Homes are flooded on Salinas Beach after the passing of Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. 

Alejandro Granadillo/Associated Press

After Hurricane Fiona ripped through Puerto Rico and landed over the Dominican Republic, Connecticut humanitarian organizations say they are ready to help those in need. 

"People are calling wanting to know what can we do to support Puerto Rico. My advice is to support organizations working directly with the people affected by the hurricane; organizations we worked with after Hurricane Maria," said Danny Diaz, a New Haven Public Schools employee who spearheaded a fundraising effort in the wake of Maria.

The storm hit Puerto Rico Sunday afternoon, bringing strong winds up to 85 mph and historic levels of rain that caused widespread flooding on the island. Gov. Pedro Pierluisi called the damages "catastrophic" as the storm washed away a bridge in Utuado and produced large landslides, the Associated Press reported

The Category 1 storm knocked out power to all of Puerto Rico by Sunday afternoon. The torrential downpour, mudslides and other destruction have made it difficult to restore power, meaning the island may not see full power again for days. 

Hurricane Fiona reached the Dominican Republic Monday morning and is forecast to produce life-threatening flooding in the eastern part of the country through early Tuesday. Nearly 800 people had been evacuated while more than 500 were in shelters, according to the Associated Press.

The storm strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane by Tuesday, bringing 115 mph winds and heavy rain to portions of the Turks and Caicos. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that the storm will continue to intensify as it moves away from Turks and Caicos and approaches Bermuda late  Thursday. 

Puerto Rico was still recovering from Hurricane Maria, which destroyed the island's power grid and killed nearly 3,000 people, when Fiona cut the power on Sunday, the Associated Press reported. Though more than 100,000 customers got their electricity back by Monday morning, the island's power company said full restoration could take several days.

As of Tuesday morning, almost 90 percent of households were without power and more than 66 percent didn't have access to drinkable water, according to Frankie Miranda, the president and CEO of the Hispanic Federation. 

"Once again, a devastating hurricane has struck the island of Puerto Rico almost exactly five years to the day that Hurricane Maria caused such dire devastation," Miranda said in a press conference Tuesday. Before Fiona hit, Miranda said the island's population was still recovering, left with damaged infrastructure and unreliable power. 

"It is still too soon to know the full extent of the damage or loss of life caused by Hurricane Fiona," Miranda said. "We will only learn that in the days to come."

Below is a list of organizations providing relief to those affected by Hurricane Fiona: 


Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization based in Stamford, said its team based in San Juan is prepared to deliver medicines and relief supplies to survivors as well as provide emergency funding to help repair health centers damaged by the storm. The nonprofit also said it is contacting partner health facilities to help with the most immediate health needs. 

"We anticipate that there will be an urgent need to replace medication and medical supplies damaged due to the flooding and power outages," said Brenda Rivera-García, Americares' senior director of Latin America and Caribbean programs. "And we also know that survivors will need mental health support as they navigate this crisis and the anniversary of Maria, which is likely to bring back painful memories."

To donate to Americares' Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund, visit

Hispanic Federation

The Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit that works to uplift and empower the Hispanic community, said it is already on the ground and coordinating with its network of more than 100 community partners to support the island. 

The nonprofit has delivered, and plans to deliver more generators to dialysis patients and has launched a $100,000 emergency assistance fund to help the island's most vulnerable populations, Miranda, the organization's president and CEO, said in a press conference Tuesday.

The Hispanic Federation was also preparing for the storm. Days before Fiona hit, the organization distributed about 11,000 solar lamps. Miranda said, once it's safe to be back on the roads, the nonprofit will deliver another 20,000 solar lamps and other emergency supplies to its partners. 

To donate to the Hispanic Federation, visit

Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Food Bank, which is part of Feeding America, provides food to those in need throughout the island. With distribution centers throughout the island, hundreds of volunteers have dedicated thousand of hours to make sure Puerto Rico doesn't go hungry. 

To donate to the Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico, visit

Punta Santiago Dogs

Punta Santiago Dogs is a nonprofit that provides food, water and veterinarian care to street dogs and find homes for rescued and rehabilitated dogs.

Alyssa Arre, a co-founder of the organization, said the organization will be picking up stray dogs over the next couple of weeks, caring for its existing group of foster dogs and supporting local rescuers. The organization also spays and neuters local residents' pets and strays, as well as feed hundreds of stray animals within Punta Santiago.  

To donate to Punta Santiago Dogs, visit

Hogar Ciudad Dorada

Hogar Ciudad Dorada, which translates to Golden City Home, is a small 24/7 elderly care facility in Utuado. Diaz worked with the facility when Hurricane Maria hit to help provide oxygen for one of the patients. 

During Hurricane Fiona, the town was plagued with mudslides, collapsed bridges and downed trees, according to Luz Collazo, the facility's director. The hurricane has left the facility without power, though they are using a generator. The storm also damaged the facility's water pump, which Collazo hopes to replace. Collazo also said they will need to build a wall to protect the facility from future mudslides. 

To donate to Hogar Ciudad Dorada, call 787-894-3256 or send mail to P.O. Box 22, Utuado, P.R. 00641. 

Casa Pueblo

Casa Pueblo is a nonprofit that promotes solar energy and sustainable development. The organization said it is distributing 2,000 solar lamps and is calling on the government to build energy security for all. 

On Monday morning, the nonprofit said its solar infrastructure was still intact and served many during Fiona's passing. 

To donate to Casa Pueblo, visit

Red Cross

To prepare for the storm, the American Red Cross said it has supplied blood products to support hospitals. The organization sent additional supplies on Monday. 

Trained Red Cross disaster workers will help with damage assessments when conditions are safer. The organization said it is also working with officials to determine where help is needed. 

To donate to the American Red Cross, visit