Parish Recovery Assistance Centers Help Hurricane Maria Survivors

by | Dec 7, 2017 | News


Brooke Newton

Deputy Director, Disaster Services Corp., SVdP-USA


San Juan, PR – Today Disaster Services of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-USA working with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the clergy in the Diocesan Council, Sociedad de San Vincente de Paul Inc./ Consejo Central de Puerto Rico, is launching a diocesan parish based relief effort called Parish Recovery Assistance Centers (P-RACs). The P-RACs will be in Canovanas and Manatí, Puerto Rico.

“P-RACs are a holistic community based approach to helping families immediately after a disaster hits,” stated Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO of Disaster Services, SVDP-USA. Catholic organizations are working together to deliver critical information and referral services and immediate relief to the survivors of Hurricane Maria.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul worked with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, TEEX to develop a “Just in Time” training program for the P-RACs. TEEX is a internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response and workforce training. Ms. Disco- Shearer said that “we wanted to have a consistent model in the delivery of services to Maria survivors and TEEX assisted us with a formal training program and a logistics model for the Parish Recovery Assistance Centers.”

The P-RACs will be led by trained Rapid Response Teams that have come to Puerto Rico from around the United States. The Rapid Response Teams will train other parish based groups to provide information on FEMA, SBA, ONA, State and local disaster programs, and provide hygiene kits, bottled water, light medical checkups, spiritual and emotional care, and other forms of help as required.

P-RACs do not replace other VOAD and FEMA Recovery operations, but rather compliment those services by being the initial face to face interaction of the survivors with their community in the road to recovery.

The P-RACs will consist of multiple parish communities working together to respond to Hurricane Maria. Addresses and Hours follow:

Parroquia La Resurrección 177, 175 PR-188, Canovanas, 00729, Puerto Rico HRS: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 4 – 8, 2017

Parroquia Sagrada Familia PR-670, Manatí, 00674, Puerto Rico HRS: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 4 – 8, 2017

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