TRENTON – Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) today issued the following statement on the state’s plan to aid the Hurricane Maria rescue and recovery effort in Puerto Rico. Governor Christie today announced plans to deploy National Guard members and emergency responders to Puerto Rico under the state’s effort, designated as the NJ Puerto Rico Integrated Deployment Effort (PRIDE):
“Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis that is growing worse with each passing day. We know that aid has yet to reach the ground in many areas and there is a critical need for assistance in the rescue and recovery effort. I want to thank Governor Christie for activating New Jersey’s emergency response apparatus and Superintendent Fuentes and General Cunniff for their efforts to mobilize our guard members and emergency responders.
“I also want to thank the members of the National Guard and our emergency responders, including those in Newark, Essex County and other areas of the state that are preparing to deploy as part of the state response.
“We are continuing our work in the community to collect supplies and donations to support what will be a long road to recovery, but right now the rescue and response effort is the priority and time is of the essence. I look forward to New Jersey’s resources getting to Puerto Rico as quickly as possible to help provide the relief residents so desperately need.”
Senator Ruiz also encouraged residents who are searching for friends and loved ones, or are interested in volunteering and/or donating to reputable relief organizations to call the recently-announced state help line at 833-NJ-HELPS (833-654-3577).