PUERTO RICO — June 1 marked the start of hurricane season, and officials in Puerto Rico said they made adjustments to their emergency plans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Jose Burgos adjusting hurricane preparation plans to take COVID-19 into account

  • Burgos says preparation is also the public's responsibility

  • STORM SEASON GUIDE: Latest News and Resources

Jose Burgos, Commissioner of Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, who is responsible for all of the island Emergency Management Bureau (PREMB), said he continues to work with all of the island’s mayors to make sure mistakes made during Hurricane Maria don’t repeat themselves.

He also wants to determine the best locations for storm shelters during the pandemic.

“We got remember to remain socially distant even in shelters; for example, places we thought we could shelter 200, can now possibly hold 100,” Burgos said.

He said to make matters worse several shelters were damaged and no longer safe because of the earthquakes.

“In terms of infrastructure, we know there’s some concern, but we know it’s better now than it was during Hurricane Maria,” Burgos said.

Wale Semidey, who lives on the island, said many are concerned about hurricane season because of the state of the island and government corruption.

“Puerto Rico is not ready for even a tropical depression at this point,” Semidey said. “The electrical grid is unstable. Two weeks ago I was without power for a whole week.”

Burgos said preparation for hurricane season is also the public’s responsibility.

“Preparation is everyone’s responsibility, not just the government’s,” Burgos said.

“I know that the Puerto Rican people learned their lessons,” Semidey said. “They’re preparing.”

The island is still recovering from Hurricane Maria three years later and the earthquakes earlier this year. ​

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