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With the start of a new hurricane season today, Puerto Rico has to ensure that hurricane preparation measures are in place. The task ranges from domestic plans to major public policy issues that will allow the Island to have robust vital infrastructure and a thriving economic activity.

Having a strategic energy vision that will place Puerto Rico in a sustainable path is one of the most vital missions the Island faces. This was proved when the old and battered power grid collapsed causing a domino effect that altered routines, loss of lives and great economic losses.

The proposal for the power grid transformation, through privatization model, is still under evaluation in the Legislature. In the process of harmonizing their differences, both legislative bodies are responsible for ensuring a strong legal framework that will regulate the sale and transfer of assets and operations. The bill must have regulatory elements that defend the public interest, while encouraging free competition in the private sector and the power grid modernization. This energy platform of reliable supply at competitive costs will bring the right conditions to attract investment and lead the way to development.

While this transformation takes place, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, as well as private sector actors, have taken measures to prevent that an eventual power grid failure will alter services before a potential disaster.

Likewise, with the $ 1.5 billion that Congress allocated for reconstruction, the process for Puerto Rico´s reconstruction with careful planning is in progress. With homes adapted to the new climatic reality, and resistant to high-intensity natural, cyclonic or seismic events, the Island will be in optimal conditions for a fast recovery, if the nightmare is to repeat.

On the other hand, citizens take the necessary steps, to avoid, above all, repeating the distress of being in the dark for months. People and communities look for information and get solar energy systems. However, at domestic level, there is still a lag in the provision of food and other basic needs items.

Hurricane Maria experience, which in just two days reached catastrophic intensity, should serve to change the collective habit of leaving everything for the last minute. In the aftermath of the disaster, authorities recommend to stock water and food for ten days without relying on external aid.

Experts adjusted the season forecast which now they foresee as normal. They anticipate 14 tropical storms, with six that would reach the hurricane category. Two of them, intense.

The government announced the revision of protocols and processes to ensure being prepared for contingencies in the next six months. Among the preparations, a fund would be established to ensure the immediate arrival of rescue teams.

Governor Ricardo Rosselló informed this week that there will be mutual assistance agreements so that, in case the power grid collapses, the Island will be energized as soon as possible. They have also provided a fast resources mobilization and a large stock of energy generators and materials.

For its part, the US Army Reserve in Puerto Rico said that they will have a search and rescue team here for humanitarian emergencies.

Thus, key sectors seem prepared for future weather atmospheric events during the new hurricane season. Still recovering from the catastrophe left by Hurricane Maria, we hope this year will allow us to leave behind the tragedies and problems related to climate. Given our particular geographical position, the passage of cyclones in our area is inevitable. Therefore, lives and properties safety will depend on the proper gear of all the machinery. No one in homes, communities, industries and government should lower their guard.


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