top of page

January 28, 2019

Lessons of Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico: The Hurricane, the Response, Preparing for Future Disasters

Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, as a high-end Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph, destroying the island’s power grid and decimating the territory’s agricultural industries.


The storm left a shattered infrastructure, a crippled economy, and numerous public health emergencies. 

A distinguished panel from diverse fields addressed questions regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis and its lessons for the future.

Panelists included:

David Holtgrave, the event moderator who is dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany and a SUNY Empire Innovation professor;

Dr. Irwin Redlener is president and co-founder (with singer songwriter Paul Simon) of Children's Health Fund (CHF), director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at The Earth Institute - Columbia University, and Professor of Health Policy & Management and Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center;

Michelle Centeno, president of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women (NACOPRW);

Robert Griffin, is the founding dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) at the University at Albany;

Shao Lin, is professor of Environmental Health Science, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health;

Havidán Rodríguez, president of the University at Albany and past director of the University of Delaware's Disaster Research Center.

Photos by Patrick Dodson, University at Albany

bottom of page