HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hurricane Fiona has caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico as the island still recovers from other disasters in recent years.

Damage and destruction have plagued Puerto Rico in recent years from the strike of deadly Hurricane Maria five years ago to subsequent earthquakes, political turmoil, and the pandemic. This week, Hurricane Fiona piles on the pain. Now emergency response teams are mobilizing to offer assistance including locally in western Massachusetts.

The Salvation Army has deployed teams in Puerto Rico through its emergency disaster response service. Emily Mew of the Salvation Army in Springfield she says with the public’s support, they’ve already been able to address immediate needs.

“All of them are providing emergency disaster teams that are deployed across the island to provide feeding needs, meeting the hunger need as well as distributing supplies such as clean-up kits.” Emily Mew, Emergency Disaster Services, Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is accepting donations to support these efforts. In Holyoke, the city’s community emergency response team is creating care packages.

“Toiletries, essentials, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights. Supplies like that.” Jeffrey Trask, Holyoke community emergency response team

If you do not have the means to contribute items, volunteering your time to help assemble is also welcome and you don’t have to be a Holyoke resident to do so. “It doesn’t matter what town you’re in or what city you’re in. Everybody’s help is greatly appreciated.”

For additional information on these response efforts visit SalvationArmyma.org and the City of Holyoke on Facebook.