Louisianans know as well as anyone how deadly and devastating hurricanes can be.

We have seen our fair share of horrific natural events, with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina the most notorious.

Now that the island territory of Puerto Rico is suffering the lingering effects of Hurricane Maria, it is only natural that Louisiana is doing all it can to aid in the recovery.

The Louisiana National Guard has deployed troops to Puerto Rico, and Louisiana is helping through a cooperative coalition of U.S. states and territories that are parties to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Whenever disaster strikes, the affected area puts out a call for help. Louisiana has put out that call and received the tireless assistance of other states in the past.

This time, largely because our state was unaffected by Maria, our officials were able to send people and resources to help.

“We’ve received so much help from other states, whenever we can we try to pay it forward and pay it back,” said James Waskom, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Louisiana has sent a delegation that included Gov. John Bel Edwards to visit the hurricane damage and lend their expertise as Puerto Rico struggles to restore power and other basic necessities to its people.

Our workers helped set up an emergency housing program that is modeled after the one Louisiana implemented after last year’s storms.

Puerto Rico faces a daunting task. In addition to the disruption and destruction caused by the storm itself, being an island is an impediment to getting the material and workers needed to rebuild homes and infrastructure that will allow its people to return to some sense of normalcy at some point.

Louisiana cannot solve Puerto Rico’s problems. But it can do as so many other states have done for us. We can lend a hand however we can and lessen the burden our fellow Americans face in recovering from such a huge blow.

In addition to our best wishes for a speedy recovery and the least human suffering possible, we are in the fortunate position of being able to lend a hand and get things on the right track for Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, we have experience in the area of rebuilding and recovery. Let’s hope we’re able to put it to good use for the people who have been among the most affected by hurricane season this year.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.