The Puerto Rico Public and Applied Social Sciences Workshop (PR PASS Workshop, hereforth) provided fieldwork, analysis and dissemination support to a transdisciplinary research project led by economist, Dr. Antonio Fernós Sagebien, anthropologist, Dr. Laura Gorbea Díaz and public health researcher, Dr. Alison Chopel. This RAPID research project was made possible by the Natural Hazards Center during a special call for proposals that recognized that "While there has been increased attention to the challenges facing the U.S. territories, there is still much to be learned about the social and public health impacts of disasters throughout these regions. It is also vital that research help identify the actions that are needed to more effectively prepare for and respond to their consequences." The special call was funded in turn by the National Science Foundation and the Center for Disease Control.

The resulting final report was titled: "Relationships Between Distribution of Disaster Aid, Poverty, and Health in Puerto Rico". The study investigated how demographic, cultural, and bureaucratic distinctions influenced residents’ lived realities after Hurricanes Irma and María struck Puerto Rico in 2017. Thier guiding quesiton was: How did the disbursement of disaster aid impact relationships between hurricane damages, poverty, and population vulnerability to COVID-19?

Below are links to the materials associated with this important research.

  • Link to final report in English
  • Video of presentation to Natural Hazards Center (August 12, 2021)
  • Presentation at the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Disasters Conference, with the support of the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (July 2022)