To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports that Hurricane Maria blew me off the blogosphere were greatly exaggerated. I am alive, and well. Puerto Rico not so much.
Most of you know, but just in case this is the first time you read one of my posts, I’m a gamer living in Puerto Rico. Fifteen days ago, we were hit by a horrifically powerful hurricane, unlike anything we had experienced in 85 years. Certainly, the worse in my lifetime. I won’t retread the details. There has been some tremendous coverage of online. Check out this article by The Washington Post, or follow the coverage by David Begnaud on the subject of Puerto Rico. He did some amazing coverage.
It will take a long time for the island to recuperate. Our power grid is destroyed, 15 days after only 10% of the island has power, little over 50% water. I am lucky in as much that my apartment is ok, my car suffered minor damage, and little personal property was damaged. I have no power, water is being rationed to a few hours a day, but I’m back to work and have food and a safe place to sleep. This is not so for many of my fellow Puerto Ricans.
While the metro area is showing some improvement, the central towns and many other areas are truly disaster zones. Hunger, homelessness, lack of food and water. This is a humanitarian crisis. There have been stumbles along the way on getting help to those who need it, and I’m convinced that all those trying to help have the best interest on Puerto Rico at heart. I won’t get into political arguments. If you follow me on social media you probably know where I stand… I will thank everyone who has reached out to me, offered or sent help, the gaming community is amazing and I’ve forged great friendships through it with people near and far. You keep amazing me with your kindness!
There is however much left to do still. How can you help? First and foremost, let people know that we are still in a state of crisis, the news cycle moves on and we’re not fresh news anymore. Share information and maintain awareness of what’s going on here. Secondly, if you are in the USA, write, call or reach out to your federally elected officials and urge them to help Puerto Rico. Just like Florida and Texas we need help to rebuild and survive this crisis. This is the case for many other brothers and sisters in the Caribbean who suffered in this devastating hurricane season!
If you want to help directly there are ways to do that as well. EN World has a great roundup of ongoing Hurricane Relief campaigns for Harvey, Irma and María victims. Green Ronin has a Fantasy Age sale that benefits Hurricane María victims. There is also a Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Bundle which offers you $500 in digital products for $25.
If you just want to donate there is a concerted effort organized by the First Lady of Puerto Rico called Unidos por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico) and the Global Giving fund supported by the bundle mentioned above.
Again, thank you all for your support. I am truly lucky…