resilience starts with information
How solar energy saved a Puerto Rican farm from Hurricane Maria
While his competitors wait for diesel to restart generators knocked out by Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre (16.2-hectare) nursery in central Puerto Rico.
The U.S. territory is in a near blackout, its electricity grid shredded by the storm that slammed into the island on Sept 20. But Santiago’s decorative plant and poinsettia nursery, set amid the jagged peaks of the Barranquitas farming area, has kept working thanks to the $300,000 he invested in 244 solar panels six years ago.
“Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don‘t,” said Santiago, whose flowers are sold in Puerto Rico, at outlets like Costco, and throughout the Caribbean.
While Santiago’s nursery was considerably damaged during the storm, many plants were destroyed and the roofs of some greenhouses…
The Military Was Ready in Texas and Florida. What Went Wrong in Puerto Rico?
Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria’s landfall, the Trump administration’s military aid to Puerto Rico may not be too late if it can save lives and ease the suffering of millions. But it is undisputedly arriving in amounts too little and too slowly, in sharp contrast to recent responses around the world and, most recently, elsewhere in the United States during this hurricane season.
Over the past few years, the military has conducted textbook operations in Pakistan, Japan, Thailand and Haiti—pumping in massive amounts of aid after devastating earthquakes and hurricanes in those countries, no matter how rough or isolated the conditions. Just weeks ago, the military response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas was rapid and powerful. In preparation for Hurricane Irma, the Trump administration again ordered up an extensive military relief operation…