More than eight months have transpired since Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 6 and September 20 of 2017, respectively, and while some progress has been made despite myriad constraints, logistical challenges, diverse collective action problems, and a beleaguered pre-hurricane context, much remains to be done. Many local residents and organizations are still reeling from the catastrophic shock and ensuing adverse cascading effects caused by the superstorms, particularly those in more remote areas. Shortly following the hurricanes, in November 2017, V2A published the first of a series of special post-hurricane issues providing a brief overview of the pre-disaster context, lessons learned from past disaster events, expected macro and sectoral impacts of the 2017 hurricane season, and an analysis on what Puerto Rico could expect with respect to the inflow of post-disaster relief funds.1 In this critical juncture, eight months after impact, we deem it imperative to take stock of the progress made, explore the short-, medium-, and long-term outlook for the local economy and continue to survey emerging opportunities.
In the aftermath of a catastrophic natural disaster like the one experienced in Puerto Rico during September 2017, an acute sense of uncertainty often takes hold of the affected people and organizations. Households, business firms, nonprofit entities, and the public sector need timely, objective, accurate and reliable information and insights to better inform their strategic planning and other decision-making processes. This special V2A issue, the first of a series of issues, seeks to narrow this information gap by providing a preliminary assessment and outlook under this new Post-Hurricane María reality. It also serves as a succinct, yet comprehensive one-stop read containing up-to-date and relevant information from a variety of sources.