So what will happen to Puerto Rico?

How do grannies get refills on their meds and babies get clean diapers when the power is out, roads destroyed, and stores are empty?

Previous hurricane disasters in Puerto Rico resulted in power being out for 2-3 weeks, which is was seriously disrupting. This time though, power could be out for 6 months or more. That means commerce and business mostly stops and people don’t get paid. So how will they afford food, assuming stores actually have anything to sell?

Many there have generators. Sooner or later though, fuel for generators will run out. Then what? In New England a few years back an ice storm in early autumn took out the power for ten days. My sister and her husband live in an area there with slightly dicey power. They have a generator. After a few days, it ran out of fuel. There were fights at gas stations for gas. This happened after a week, and in an area where some places still had power. Puerto Rico has no power now and will have none anywhere for far longer than ten days.

Puerto Rico cannot afford the billions the cleanup will cost. The power company was already in dire financial condition. It doesn’t have the resources to rebuild their grid. Vulture capitalists are going to move in, buying property ultra-cheap. Maybe someone will buy the power company for pennies on the dollar. However, electrical rates are already very high there. A new owner would almost certainly make power even more expensive.

There are scattered reports of looting. If food, water, supplies, medicine aren’t shipped in fast and law enforcement doesn’t get a handle on things, looting could turn into loosely organized gangs or worse.

I was in Los Angeles when the Northridge earthquake hit. It knocked a big city with deep pockets and lots of resources to its knees. It was a blip compared to what Puerto Rico is coping with now. Let’s all help Puerto Rico. They really need it.

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