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capodecina23 karma

A shortage of platanos? THIS is the story they should be telling. When I get down there, I'll bring some. Thats irony for ya, right?

capodecina23 karma

Hey man, good on you for hanging in there. I still have family in PR and a house (well, not sure if its still there) in Caguas, so I still have a lot of ties to the island. I was supposed to go down there on an emergency response team to help and to secure things so aid could be distributed. Instead I ended up working in support of a FEMA operation outside DC. I have seen the FEMA operation here (its primarily a disaster response call center) field over a MILLION calls and handle aid distribution. I don't work for them, nor am I privy to the inner workings of what they are doing, but I do know they are doing what they can in a 24/7 operation.

That being said, having worked in cooperation with aid agencies for both emergency response and ongoing infrastructure support - what happens on one side rarely translates into direct action on the other side, which makes it seem like nothing is happening or if things do happen, it happens slowly. I'm sorry for that, nothing I can personally do about it.

I deployed with what they call a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) to New Orleans in 2005 when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit and I saw how ugly things got and how quickly they got that way. I also saw a huge outpouring of tactical, technical, medical, and infrastructure support personnel doing what they could to get the bodies out of the streets, the people to medical attention, food to those who had sheltered in place, and security to protect personnel and physical assets from being harmed/stolen.

There was so much more than just the damage from the hurricane, the real problem was the human factor. People looting/raping/murdering/causing destruction/arson. This made things so much more difficult, and even with the full resources of the US government being poured into a mainland State, it still took about 45 days to get the power grid up and stable. I know some areas are still "recovering".

I suppose my question would be along the lines of how much of an issue is personal security/crimes of opportunity/willful property destruction, and how has it affected the restoration efforts?

I have a few professional associates down there who update me on the situation, but I'd like to know from the perspective of a person who is there. My family of course just assures us that they are OK and yeah things kind of suck, but there is nothing to worry about. Thats what family does, so while its supposed to put me and the rest of my family at ease, I know it is not realistic.

What is your opinion of the security forces and personnel in place, if you have had any exposure to them?

Most importantly, what is the mofongo and pasteles situation down there? These are the important questions that people arent asking.

I've deployed to many areas that were in a state of crisis, both from natural and man made causes, but never anywhere that hit so close to home and family. When the FEMA operation here no longer needs my support, I have already requested to be assigned to Puerto Rico for however long it takes. If Im too late for the AMA, maybe I can get my answers from you in person.

Im not a "thoughts and prayers" kind of guy, but I will say "Hang in there". I will make plantanos maduros and red beans and rice for dinner in your honor.