Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Relief
accommodations and critical services
People around the world rely on life-saving drugs every day, and pharmaceutical companies have the responsibility to maintain an uninterrupted supply of medicine. So, when the Category-5 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, Amgen, a leading biopharmaceutical company, needed to put contingency plans into action and get the right systems up and running as quickly as possible. To help alleviate the impact of Hurricane Maria on manufacturing, especially when residents themselves have been devastated with immense loss, priority was given to providing necessities to local employees and rebuilding facilities.
Location: Puerto Rico
Category: Disaster Relief
To give employees a restful place to stay during the restoration period, we constructed seven accommodation tents for a total of 32 beds for contractors who were rebuilding parts of the Amgen site at Juncos. Without the power for refrigeration at home, our team produced 30,000 lbs. of ice per day, distributing 10 lbs. bags to each employee not staying at the camp to take home to keep food safe and cold while the island’s electrical system was being repaired.
Beyond accommodations and food safety, sanitation and hygiene is a common concern during emergencies. In addition to a washroom tent and water system, we provided laundry and four shower tents to ensure the health and safety of Amgen employees. We also provided laundry services to support 2,000 people, which translates into two bags of laundry per week for each employee, as well as shower facilities for 1,000 people.
With the help of 47 Puerto Rican employees currently on the site working around the clock--90 at the peak of the operation--the facility was operational by October 23, one month after the hurricane devastated the island. We continue to provide service at this facility and expect to be there until the end of January.