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Enabling Resilience for the Days (and Weeks and Months) After the Storm

For residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, readiness and relationships were keys to survival

America has 50 states, but AARP has 53 state offices. That's because we also serve the residents of Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

In September 2017, two massive hurricanes — Irma and then Maria — devastated the Caribbean islands. AARP staff in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands juggled caring for themselves and their own families with meeting the desperate needs of local AARP members — as well as nonmembers of all ages. The following articles, written for the 2018 edition of the AARP series Where We Live: Communities for All Ages, are first-person accounts from the two AARP state directors who prepared for, lived through and have been working to help their communities recover from a season of unprecedented storms.

A map showing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Image from Google Maps

Puerto Rico (left) and the Virgin Islands (right) were directly in the paths of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Published June 2018