East Tennessee State University has activated its ETSU Response website to provide information on how to support those affected by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 hurricane that pummeled Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other small Caribbean countries with 150 mph winds. There have been 16 confirmed deaths in Puerto Rico, and that number is expected to reach into the hundreds as officials are able to access more remote locations of the island. The storm has leveled the island and caused a humanitarian crisis affecting over 3.4 million U.S. citizens. Maria dealt a direct hit to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 20, and the island nation continues to deal with what is being referred to by many as “apocalyptic” devastation. The island is still without power; gas-powered generators are in use in high priority areas, such as hospitals, only. Officials have estimated that it could take 4-6 months to restore power to some areas of Puerto Rico.
The ETSU Response website has been used several times in the past to give individuals a way to provide assistance for victims of disasters both near and far, including most recently those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey as well as the September 8 earthquake in Mexico.
For more information, call the ETSU Office of Student Affairs at 423-439-4210.
The following charities have been vetted through Charity Navigator by the NY Times and were chosen for their high grades. All are providing assistance to victims of Hurricane Maria.
- One America Appeal – is a fund administered by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation. All five living former U.S. presidents have committed to raising donations, which will be distributed to storm victims throughout Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida.
- All Hands Volunteers – works with local relief organizations to respond to natural disasters. They have sent immediate response teams to the region.
- AmeriCares – is a health relief effort that is currently working to stock much-needed medical supplies in emergency shelters. They provide emergency medicine, supplies, and medical outreach.
- Global Giving – connects donors to vetted nonprofits and other aid organizations
On Campus Assistance and Efforts:
- The ETSU community should be aware of support services for those students, faculty, and staff who may have been affected by this ongoing disaster.
- The ETSU Counseling Center provides personal counseling for students, as well as outreach
and referrals. Students may access the ETSU Counseling Center
at (423) 439-3333. The Counseling Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Bucs Press 2 service is available 24/7 by dialing
(423) 439-4841 and pressing 2 for a counselor.
- The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a resource for faculty and staff members who need counseling support and referral to other resources.
- Community Service Programs, housed within the Student Organization Resource Center (SORC), is serving as a clearinghouse for student response efforts. For more information, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.