This article was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper
While everyone else was waiting for the government to restore power to Puerto Rico, Oscar Carrion and his friends went in together to buy a bucket truck and taught themselves how to repair wiring.
Thousands of people in Puerto Rico remain in the dark eight months after Hurricane Maria wiped out the island’s already degraded electrical grid. The infrastructure was in such bad condition, some people predicted it could take a year or more to restore the electricity.
Getting aid to the US territory was delayed by red tape, and millions of residents went without food, fresh water, and shelter. The process of restoring the power has been laborious and lengthy. In December, there were still more than a million residents without electricity.
Then along came Oscar Carrion.
The hero of this story isn’t the government. It is a resident of Puerto Rico who got together with his friends and decided that something had to be done. And they took responsibility and did it themselves.
Oscar Carrion, a father of four, got together with a group of friends to purchase a used bucket truck for $2500, which they collected from people in their neighborhood. Then, they taught themselves how to repair the wiring and poles that had been destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Completely self-taught, they risked their lives to restore the power to places in the island that the government hadn’t gotten to.
Watch this short video about the citizens’ teamwork.
The situation is still grim for many Puerto Ricans.
One woman from Puerto Rico shared what it is like there, 8 months after the storm:
We Puerto Ricans are grateful for their help & the help of many like them that from the bottom of their heart gave us a hand on those days & are still helping.
I was prepared but it was the majority that suffers & is still suffering after 8 months. We still have around 1,200 people without light.
I am able to write to you on my phone but I need to go to another town to use the WiFi to check other things. I was taking some classes & lost my money because of not having that service. The first month was no phone, tv, WiFi, banks, most supermarkets were closed or gone & the ones that were open, the lines were so long that you got tired just looking at them. By the time you got inside whatever you were looking for was gone.
The destruction make me cry day & night. We went to visit my mother & took another route as we were going through if you know the place it was like going through another road & then you see houses & business that were there for 100 years destroyed. But like I tell my kids, prepare, you never know what is going to happen.
This young man & his friends have a heart of gold but in here now the criminals are more than the good ones. Sorry if I bother you with my memories & everyday life but is hard to see so many people displace & see grownup men crying when you asked them about the wife or children and find out it is one the dead ones or that they lost their business or home. Take care, be safe & prepare
Be like Oscar.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the community pool their resources and be more efficient than the government during the aftermath of a crisis. Remember the rescue operations performed by the Cajun Navy during the Louisiana floods a couple of years back? The local government demanded that they stop surviving without permission immediately, go so far as to block their access to people who needed help.
But, Oscar knows you can’t wait around and expect to be rescued. He and his friends are a shining example of what self-reliance is all about. This is why we prep – because we don’t want to wait for the government to “save” us. Because, as Oscar said, “We have to do it for ourselves. Because if we don’t, nobody will do it for us.”
Hat tip to M. K. Matthews
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Daisy Luther is the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide To Whole Food on a Half Price Budget. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]</e
This Guy got caught stealing electricity.
here in the good old mainland US, guy try that and no matter the situation or dire need, there’s be plenty of government inspectors asking for his permit, declaring the work to not be up to code and most likely fine him on a daily basis until he tore it all down.
Heart: Unfortunately, you are 100% correct. The Gov’t would never go for that, how dare a citizen try to help and fix and provide for themselves for a stinking change. The Gov’t is truly an ugly, out of control Cancer-Monster roaring it’s ugly fat head!! Wake up folks – who is the true ENEMY and CRIMINAL now I ask you?
Or worse, a citizen in the U.S. trying to take initiative and help his/her community in such a manner would likely be shot to death by police as they “feared for their life” for some damn unknown reason. No good deed goes unpunished here.
My hat is off to these people who took the initiative to get moving again. they have more balls than their polititians and leaders.
They bought the lift truck from the power company. It was the only one left that was still running.
FEMA then gave the power company new lift trucks.
ITALY JUST ELECTED A GOVERNMENT THAT DOESNT LIKE MOOSE LIMBS AND IS ON THE VERGE OF PASSING A 15% FLAT TAX RATE.
Its called “YOYO” -You’re On Your Own.
It won’t be much different here in the US if we had a total grid down collapse. It will take a decade “10 years” to restore. Large transformers have a 2 year lead time just to start building one, and they are not build here in the US either.
Right out of the FEMA Handbook: QUOTE:
See the following quote from the report below that highlights this issue.
National Preparedness Report
Catastrophic planning remains a top priority for the Nation. FEMA leads planning initiatives in different geographic areas that consider catastrophic earthquakes, hurricanes, dam failures, improvised nuclear device detonation, evacuation and sheltering, and other major events. FEMA also applies a catastrophic planning framework known as “Maximum of Maximums,” which centers on collaborative, whole community planning for worst-case scenarios that exceed government capabilities. This approach sets ambitious outcomes for whole community partners to achieve after a catastrophic event. Examples include: treating, stabilizing, and caring for 265,000 casualties; meeting the supply and materiel needs of 1.5 million disaster survivors within 72 hours; restoring basic services for an affected area of seven million people within 60 days; and recovering communities of 1.5 million disaster survivors within five years.
How about 340 Million people in a disaster? It will take at least a decade folks. YOYO. You are on your own.
Anon: Man, the thing is, so many of the clowns here will go nuts and destroy what isn’t already destroyed, etc, etc. It would realistically take way longer than 10 years I would imagine, if ever in some parts. Yeah, GOOD LUCK with that noise…This is what we all have to look forward to folks and most likely much Sooner, than later. What, about 100 MILLION things already sit around and do nothing at all but consume and take and take and stick their empty, fat hands forward: Give, give…
For the first time ever, I see some Puerto Ricans that earn my respect. They were willing to do for themselves instead of crying for the govt. to come save them. Kudos to these guys.
No, they cried out to the government for four months and were told tough shit. Finally they gave up and did it themselves.
For real. Good to see some real Americans down south.
What a great story!! Although I am sad that there is so much yet to do in PR, it is heartening…inspiring to see what a few determined people can do on their own.
That is the problem. Only a very FEW determined people did all the work. The rest did nothing.
That is true everywhere….no matter which group. In families, churches, cultures…10 percent, or less, do the majority of the work, giving, etc. 10 percent of the group is totally worthless…and the 80 percent in the middle will mostly watch and complain or be cynical about the other two groups. I think it’s just plain old human nature. Very sad.
Bildew you are correct in that assessment.
“The situation is still grim for many Puerto Ricans.”
I don’t agree with this statement. Life has returned to normal for most everyone. Sure, you can find distressed people if you look hard enough and quite likely in parts of Florida and Texas.
Stiner, you can make snide comments all day long but if you knew about the logistics of the island you might get a clue how difficult it is to replace 60,000 power poles in a mountainous area.
There are no Motel 6’s for the crews to stay in,(crews from Texas repaired our neighborhood) and many roads in the interior are two lanes. Add in the landslides and bridges destroyed, well, get the picture?
We got 36″ of rain in 48 hours.
This story is about 4 months late.
All in all, good practice for the future.
Spot on except I think it is closer to 5% than 10%
JS: Right, only a “Few” are willing to get off of their fat, lazy, worthless ghetto asses and actually do something productive and helpful for a damn change but the problem is the vast majority will do Nothing. We definitely, with out a doubt need a severe PURGE in this once great land we call the U.S. of A. I can’t think of any other possible way to do anything with that sub-group of “things”, as they will Never change their ways.
When it really, really hits the fan in a big, bad way, it will take the Gov’t buffoons forever and a day and then some to get things “fixed”, Christ if ever in some respects I bet.
John Stiner, BINGO, and is it any different at all here in USA today ?
This is leadership.
anybody notice he was wearing gardening gloves? Those gloves would not stop any electrical current. That guy was lucky to not get electrocuted.
In Houston and Florida there were armies of electrical workers from all over the nation.
Power was restore EVERYWHERE in less than a week. Why was it different in Puerto Rico?
FEMA did not restore power after Harvey and Maria in Florida. It was the utility companies. The called in the mutual aid support from other utility companies and got the job done.
Puerto Rico expected the government to do it. Why? That is what socialism is.
THE FACT THAT BROWN PEOPLE HAVE IQs OF 80 AND NORDICS HAVE IQs OF 104 HAD, I’M SURE, NOTHING TO DO WITH IT WHATSOEVER
THE PROFESSORS ASSURE ME THAT RACE DOESNT EXIST
Getting resources to Florida to facilitate repair is just a road trip, for Puerto Rico it requires shipping. Puerto Rico also took a much greater hit with far greater damage.
Oscar is now using the lift truck in a crime spree. He is hooking up free cable TV for $30 a house. Capitalism?
In most disasters, the majority of the help comes from the counties surrounding the counties directly impacted. Puerto Rico is an island which was hit everywhere. In a world where the milk of human kindness has gone totally sour, some fresh cream! I’m lactose intolerant myself! Disasters do seem to bring out the best in some people for which I am deeply grateful!
if you need electric in the tropics you hate life you faags
Puerto Rican ingenuity. That’s what will liberate Puerto Ricans from American dependency.
Power to the people!
Good for him. Someone not taking but giving.
It takes able-bodied men and women with aptitude, know how, and courage to go up there and repair those lines. That is why 80% of the population did not fall out to help get the lines back on line. Jumping on the case of all those who, in all likelihood, are not the right people to get that job done is silly, and counterproductive. A man with the gumption to learn a job like that on his own, and get something DONE is better and more valuable than twenty magpies carping about this or that. He deserves the praise and rewards due him for above and beyond performance in the face of daunting odds. What it is about a great many of you that does not recognize or endorse success when it shows up? Are you afraid to succeed?
A word to the wise: stock up on flashlights, ones made by Fenix, Nitecore (notably the rechargeable Tube and the Tip), Lumintop (the Tool AA and the Tool AAA), Eagtac (the D25A and the D25AA).
If the ONLY light you purchase is the Waka Waka Power, then more power to you! The Waka Waka Power is a light of various lumens that recharges in the sun and you can charge your cell phone with it.
The Flip light you can get inexpensively at Harbor Freight: it is a light switch that is actually a flashlight! Amazing innovation in a flashlight!
– the Lone Ranger