GEM in Doral begins to send supplies to Puerto Rico as hurricane Fiona’s rain hits island

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Hurricane Fiona has caused an emergency of flooding in Puerto Rico. Many were rushed out of their homes and now left in dire need of aid, so South Florida is answering the call for help, as one organization is among those who are sending support to those affected.

Global Empowerment Mission is a nonprofit organization out of Doral stepping up to help those in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona slammed the island over the weekend.

On Monday, the organization began to pack supplies, which continued Tuesday as workers said they already have crews on the ground in Puerto Rico ready to disburse help as soon as it arrives.

“We are preparing to start sending both via air and ocean freight immediately,” said COO of GEM Emily Fullmer. “Our main boxes that we start off with in phase 1 are a family necessity kit that consists of a family of four to five, can sustain them for one to two weeks, so about half of that is full of food, the other half is hygiene.”

Phase two will be shipping larger supplies like generators and water purification systems, which are a big necessity right now considering many are still without power.

The group was in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, five years ago, and said because of the partnerships they’ve made on the island since, they are able to help right away.

“We have the supply chain that, once our stuff arrives, it can immediately go out to towns all over Puerto Rico, without having to wait,” said Fullmer.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has since deployed responders to Puerto Rico to help with the continued efforts from the northern coast, the central mountains and beyond.

The storm left its mark by submerging streets and a bridge was even swept away by rising flood water.

More than 1 million people have been left without power. The National Police have made more than 1,000 rescues as shelters have begun to fill up.

President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency for the territory, and FEMA already has 300 crew members on the island.

Hurricane Fiona is the first hurricane to hit the island since Hurricane Maria– five years ago.

Forecasters have predicted life-threatening flooding, landslides and mudslides.

Many on the island are choosing to stay safe and stay put if they can.

“The wind doesn’t get you with a branch hitting you, the flood will get you because you won’t be able to make it through,” said Billy Reyes, who was visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the hurricane.

The Archdiocese of Miami will also be helping those in Puerto Rico and are asking for monetary donations which will all go towards hurricane Fiona relief, if you would like to donate, click here.

To donate to Global Empowerment Mission, click here.

To donate to the International Medical Corps, click here.