Tags: puerto rico | veterans | report | takano

Report: Puerto Rico Not Ready to Care for Vets in Hurricane

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Mark Takano, D-Calif speaks to students at Riverside City College
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Mark Takano, D-Calif. (Dylan Stewart/Image of Sport via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:47 AM

Puerto Rico may not be able to care for all its veterans if the event of another major hurricane, NBC News is reporting.

The network news attributed the findings to a congressional report it had obtained. It said staff members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee discovered a series of issues at the Veterans Administration hospital in San Juan.

The report said the issues should have been addressed before the hurricane season started on June 1.

“Following a recent visit to the VA Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, my staff were struck by issues with the facility’s emergency preparedness and disaster response capabilities that could impact thousands of veterans who live on the island,” the chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., told NBC News.

The report found:

  • Those responsible did not know how to access the hospital’s medical cache that stores supplies. Accessing the supplies would allow them to issue emergency prescriptions during a disaster.
  • The hospital does not maintain updated, consistent communication with thousands of vulnerable veterans. The veterans could end up stranded during a hurricane.
  • About 9,000 veterans in Puerto Rico live with post-traumatic stress disorder or require dialysis and insulin shots. But the report raised concerns there are not enough staff members at the facility to account for all high-risk veterans.

“Frankly, these discoveries are concerning,” Takano said.

Meanwhile, NPR reported that Congress has allocated about $20 billion for repairs to home and infrastructure in Puerto Rico, but very little of those funds have been disbursed.

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Puerto Rico may not be able to care for all its veterans if the event of another major hurricane, NBC News is reporting.
puerto rico, veterans, report, takano
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2019-47-04
Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:47 AM
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