Hurricanes Irma and Maria Response
In 2017, the Caribbean saw great devastation due primarily to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, both of which reached Category 5 intensity. EMI partnered with Samaritan’s Purse (SP) to deliver WASH resources to survivors in both Barbuda and Puerto Rico.
EMI sent 5 engineers to run mobile reverse osmosis water treatment systems on the island of Barbuda. These volunteers deployed on a staggered timeline in order to provide treated water for a total of 3 months before training and handing off the operations to nationals. The systems encountered many issues and required daily problem solving. In addition to these efforts, one volunteer was able to go door to door, inspecting personal cisterns and wells, providing cleaning guidance and distributing sawyer filters. Thanks to these efforts, the residents were able to start rebuilding their lives on the island.
In Puerto Rico, the EMI-SP team provided WASH assessments and support to 14 smaller water systems. Services included assessing what is needed to restore potable water to these systems as well as some schematic designs with material lists. With some systems where potable water wasn't accesible, training and Sawyer filters were provided. Two chlorination systems were also installed.