Nine months after devastating Hurricane Maria made landfall, the island of Puerto Rico is entering this year’s hurricane season without ever having recovered from the last one.
The record-breaking hurricane hit the island on September 20, 2017 and officially killed 64 people. Other estimates put the death toll much higher, and the continued lack of power and other necessities means that Puerto Ricans are still dying because of the hurricane.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the U.S., so while it isn’t a state, and its citizens don’t have quite the same rights as mainlanders, the federal government is still responsible for assisting in the disaster relief process.
In November 2017, two months after the hurricane hit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $30 million in contracts to a company that had been newly created in St. Cloud, Florida.
The company, Bronze Star LLC, which lists only $150K in annual revenue and a measly 15 employees, was tasked with delivering emergency plastic sheeting and tarps to Puerto Rico.