If you’re looking for a way to use your CDL to help out in hurricane-decimated Puerto Rico, here’s how you can get started.
Puerto Rico Desperate For Drivers, U.S. Drivers Desperate To Help
Many members of the trucking community were horrified to see the starting images of thousands of shipping containers full of food, water, and medicine sitting in a port in San Juan in part because, according to the governor of Puerto Rico, there aren’t enough truck drivers available to help distribute the hurricane relief supplies. American drivers wanted put their CDLs to use to help their Puerto Rican neighbors, but it wasn’t clear how to get started.
CBS journalist David Begnaud, who first brought the public’s attention to the unmoved shipping containers at the San Juan port, has some answers for drivers who are looking to help out.
——-UPDATE 2 PM—————————————————————–
The latest word is that you should TEXT the number, not call as Begnaud recommends.
“If you want to help drive a truck here in Puerto Rico, if you can get here and you have the license to do so, here’s a number the governor’s office just gave me.
Call that number. Nobody’ll answer. You’ll get a text message. Respond with your name and information and your license info. And they’re gonna get you ready to drive a truck on this island. That’s how desperate they are, they’ll take anyone who will volunteer.”
Alternately, you can click here to fill out an online form with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. After you fill out the form, NVOAD will contact you after they have paired you with an organization that needs you.
According to NPR, there are an estimated 10,000 shipping containers stranded at various locations on the island. Lack of drivers, fuel shortages, communication breakdowns ,and damage to local infrastructure are all hampering efforts to distribute the badly needed supplies.
Richard Darmanin of Capitol Transportation Inc. highlights the problems caused by the shortage of truck drivers: “You have a shortage of drivers who have lost a lot during the storm. You may have a huge fleet but they ain’t moving themselves … Whatever driver shows up, we put him to work.”
The response from the U.S. mainland trucking community looking for ways to help is overwhelming.
How do we apply here in the states to come down to San Juan Puerto Rico to help move goods from the port to where need be. Im a truck driver
— William litsey (@WilliamLitsey) September 28, 2017
I want to help Puerto Rico , I am truck driver? Please respond
— Anson (@manfretti123) September 29, 2017
@DavidBegnaud My husband is a truck driver and would like to volunteer in Puerto Rico. What is the best way to? We tried calling. No luck.
— Jennifer Soto (@JenSoto1020) September 28, 2017
@DavidBegnaud I am a truck driver in Jacksonville Florida. I will go drive. Help me find a way to get to Puerto Rico to drive please
— David Berrios (@daveberrios) September 28, 2017
This is heartbreaking!!! Im begging to go to Puerto Rico to go help! Im a truck driver. And I want to go help! I know a couple of drivers who are willing to go help!!! but no one wont answer me. #PuertoRico @POTUS @ricardorossello #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/JF21gvbxyO
— Kasy (@Kasy3501) September 27, 2017