Human Recovery

Fourth grade students Yailis, Annyely and Krystal talk before the start of the classes at the Julio Selles Sola Elementary School during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Rio Piedras a neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Photo by Miami Herald / AP

Education, health, and other social services are key to strengthening Puerto Rico’s resilience and prosperity in the future. Prior to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, some policy efforts were underway to improve services for Puerto Rico residents. However, many communities in Puerto Rico faced significant health and social service needs, often related to poverty and an aging population. Hurricane damage to clinics and public health laboratories, social service centers, and schools, especially on the east side of the main island, created interruptions in services, including lack of access to chronic care management and a disruption to scholastic activities.

HSOAC, in collaboration with FEMA and other stakeholders, identified a variety of recovery actions intended to promote the health, safety, and well-being of Puerto Rico’s residents. In addition to rebuilding damaged public health, health care, and education infrastructure, long-term resilience will depend on strengthening social services provision, modernizing vital statistics record-keeping, and enhancing trauma-based mental health care.


Health and Human Services