Puerto Rico Lacked Disaster Planning, Study Finds

The findings are part of the same study that found an estimated 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico

A new study offers a set of recommendations based on flaws exposed in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, such as a lack of preparation for a massive natural disaster and a series of missteps in keeping the public informed after the hurricane, NBC News reported

The study, completed by George Washington University's Milken Institute of Public Health found that doctors did not use existing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to appropriately count the number of deaths that were related to the storm's aftermath. The doctors interviewed said they were not aware of those guidelines, leading to a recommendation that the Department of Public Health implement training for medical personnel ahead of the next natural disaster.

The report found that island officials had no "written, updated agency crisis and emergency risk communication plans in place" prior to the storm. In addition, the lack of clear, effective communications to the public “decreased the perceived transparency and credibility of the Government of Puerto Rico."

The recommendations are part of the same study that found an estimated 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. 

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