Special Edition - Hurricane María
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Dear CienciaPR community,

We are all heartbroken at the situation in Puerto Rico, where 70% of our members reside.

We know there is a lot of need, but there is also a lot of desire and many ways to help.

If you are outside of Puerto Rico, below you will find a registry to provide assistance to scientists and students
impacted by the hurricane; vetted ways of donating and contributing; opportunities for medical and technical volunteers; NIH and NSF disaster guidelines; and other ideas of how you can help with the recovery.

If you have additional ideas or resources, you can send them to us at contact@cienciapr.org and we'll update the information on our page and on future newsletters.

For our people in Puerto Rico, please know that we are thinking of you and that we will be here to help in any way possible.

Stay strong Puerto Rico!

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Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, PhD
CienciaPR Executive Director
 Aid for Our Scientists
ayudaHurricane Maria has not only personally affected the members of our community in Puerto Rico, it has probably also wreaked havoc on the country's research activities.

Although it is too early to know the magnitude of damage to individual laboratories in Puerto Rico, 100% of the archipelago is without power, the Arecibo radio telescope has suffered damages, and the UPR, Rio Piedras campus (the only university for which there are pictures) has been devastated. It will surely take months for research work in Puerto Rico to return to normal.
 
We call on our community to use their university connections to identify ways to provide research space, reagents, or educational services for researchers and students impacted by Hurricane Maria.
 
We will be collecting offers and requests for assistance through the survey: bit.ly/CienciaPRMaria

As communications are re-established, we will coordinate with institutions in Puerto Rico to help them navigate and connect with the offers. Researchers in Puerto Rico can also use our Facebook page to submit their aid requests.
 
We are also collaborating with the American Society for Cell Biology to promote its archive of laboratory offerings. If you work in cell biology or any other related discipline, you can click here to provide your information with ASCB.
 
We appreciate the generosity of the CienciaPR community!
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 Funds & Donations
Puerto Rico
In these moments of so much uncertainty and confusion, it is important to centralize the information to be more effective and efficient. That is why we have joined the efforts of our friends of CenadoresPR to help disseminate reliable information.

Here we share a website that collects up-to-date information on trusted organizations that are receiving donations of funds or materials, events around the US in support of Puerto Rico, and resources to find family members and keep you informed. Please help with what you can and share the link with your contacts.
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 Volunteers
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Calling All Coders
 
If you have coding, programming, or technical skills, Startups of Puerto Rico has opened a registry to connect with organizations or agencies with pressing needs in Puerto Rico.

This "inventory" of talent will be connected with opportunities to help develop support services or create and innovate new solutions.
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FEMA Surge Capacity Force
Federal employees have the opportunity to obtain special permits to assist in the reconstruction of Puerto Rico through the FEMA Surge Capacity Force. Specifically, FEMA is looking for expertise in logistics, IT, communications, environmental and historical preservation, finance, procurement, insurance, infrastructure (including engineers), etc.
 
It is recommended that those interested register through the PRFAA page to be assigned to work in Puerto Rico. http://prfaa.pr.gov/unitedforpuertorico
 
Other contact information: surgecapacityforce@fema.dhs.gov; maria1@prfaa.pr.gov.
 
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Doctors Brigades 
A group of health organizations are helping to organize brigades of doctors and other health experts.
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Hispanics, has teamed up with Project HOPE, an organization that specializes in bringing medicines and health experts to areas impacted by disasters. Specifically, it is expected that they will be looking for internists, infectious disease experts, family physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and mental health professionals. 
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General Volunteers
 
The Puerto Rican chapter of the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) seeks volunteers interested in connecting with public services and disaster relief organizations.

They ask that people not go to Puerto Rico to help on their own as they could create an additional burden.

You can register here.
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 NIH & NSF Guide
star_metrics_f 4We have contacted NIH and NSF program directors to inquire about assistance and deadline extensions for researchers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands impacted by Hurricane Maria. Agencies are updating their natural disaster guidelines, but in the meantime, they advise researchers to review the following policies:

 - NIH
 - NSF

They also recommend that investigators contact their program officers at the NIH and NSF as soon as they have an idea of the damage so that they can assist and advise them.
Send us your comments or suggestions to contact@cienciapr.org
 
 




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