FEMA Administrator Discusses “Pre-Positioning” and Hurricane Response

FEMA administrator Brock Long was interviewed on CNN as Atlantic States prepared for Hurricane Florence’s landfall. He emphasized the importance of “pre-positioning” — getting funds and response teams in place ahead of time rather than waiting until after the disaster occurs. Long spoke of disaster response as a chair with four legs: federal government state… Read more »

For Puerto Rico Taft More Bully Than Teddy

By Howard Hills Wall Street Journal book review praises revisionist biography glossing over William Howard Taft’s legacy of failed territorial law and policy in Puerto Rico and other unincorporated territories. In late March of 2018 it was easy for Puerto Ricans plunged into darkness and threat of a public health crisis to miss the Wall Street… Read more »

Doubt Persists Over Puerto Rico Preparedness for Future Hurricanes

A June poll indicates that more than three quarters of Puerto Ricans believe that the island is unprepared for a hurricane should another storm develop during 2018. The survey, taken June 19-25, found that only five percent of respondents were “very confident” that Puerto Rico is prepared for the current hurricane season. Sixteen percent of… Read more »

Puerto Ricans Blame All Levels of Government for Inadequate Hurricane Response

A Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll has found that Puerto Ricans are critical of all levels of government for their responses to Hurricane Maria last year. When asked how they would rate the job of various public officials, 80% responded that President Trump did a fair or poor job, with slightly more than half giving… Read more »

Trump Calls Puerto Rico Response an “Incredible Unsung Success” and Velázquez Pushes Back

As Hurricane Florence nears the southeastern United States, ABC News is reporting that President Trump has called his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria an “incredible unsung success.” “I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful.  Puerto Rico was actually our toughest one of all because it is an island,” Trump said. “I actually think it is… Read more »

Florida Must Provide Spanish-Language Ballots, Judge Says

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker declared last week that 32 Florida counties must provide Spanish-language ballots in the upcoming midterm elections.Walker singled out Florida’s Secretary of State, Kenneth Detzner, who claimed that he had no control over election materials in the individual counties in the state. Walker disagrees. In his decision he wrote, “As this… Read more »

New Study on 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires Specifies Key Recovery Challenges

The federal General Accounting Office (GAO) has released a new report on the 2017 hurricanes and wildfires that contains initial observations on the Federal response and key recovery challenges. The report notes that in 2017, four sequential disasters – hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the California wildfires – created an unprecedented demand for federal disaster… Read more »

Senator John McCain on Puerto Rico

The nation is remembering Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as a statesman who served his country with valor and integrity. in 2011, Senator McCain’s website carried this statement demonstrating his sentiments about Puerto Rico and island’s proud tradition of military service: “Senator McCain has great appreciation and respect for the people of Puerto Rico, including the… Read more »

Reactions to the New Hurricane Death Toll

There is a new official death toll for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: 2,975. With previous estimates ranging from 51 to 4,645, the new official toll is closer to the midpoint, but more than 50 times as high as the most widely distributed number from Puerto Rico’s government, 64. A study commissioned by Governor Rossello… Read more »