IEM Spotlight: Carlos J. Ruiz Acevedo, PE Operations Manager, IEM Puerto Rico

What’s do you do for IEM Puerto Rico?
I was hired as the Operations Manager for IEM Puerto Rico supporting the R3 (Repair, Reconstruction, and Relocation) Program of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing using CDBG-DR funds. As Operations Manager, I am responsible for daily field operations and ensuring that they are performed in an efficient manner. I oversee logistics management, performance standards, safety policies, and procedures to ensure alignment with the program’s goals and objectives. I also direct human resources and management activities on the operational side of the program, to include staffing needed to accomplish operational tasks.

What led you to IEM and what do you like best about working with the IEM Team?
After working with FEMA for 13 months, I learned about HUD CBDG-DR funded programs, and as an engineer was interested in being part of this phase of the island’s reconstruction. I started searching for companies that were going to be part of CDBG-DR programs for open positions that fit my skillset and I found IEM.

I enjoy the IEM Team and the energy and effort that team member dedicate to each task assigned to them. Also, I like that the IEM team is pushing forward to make things happen so hurricane survivors, or applicants as they are called in the program, are able to move into their safer, more resilient homes as soon as possible.

[Founder and] current President and CEO Ms. Madhu Beriwal …recognized a distinct need to integrate science and objectivity into decisions about public protection, moving preparedness from a subjective foundation to one based on quantitative data. That vision from more than 30 years ago built the company that today is helping government agencies and the private sector save lives. Since inception, IEM has expanded past disaster preparedness, response, and recovery to offer a range of services and solutions that also strengthen homeland defense, counterterrorism, and public agency performance.

IEM Spotlight: Carlos J. Ruiz Acevedo, PE Operations Manager, IEM Puerto Rico – IEM



Meghan McCain Lashes Trump: You’re OK With Inviting the Taliban but Not Hurricane Refugees

McCain, meanwhile, said that “the humanity seems completely removed” from Trump, adding that the “best part of America” is that we’re supposed to be the “shining beacon on the hill” and yet the president is now refusing to help people devastated by a natural disaster.

This prompted co-host Whoopi Goldberg to openly wonder how anyone can look at this and say that this isn’t a racial problem, considering the vast majority of the Bahamian survivors are black.

Meghan McCain Lashes Trump: You’re OK With Inviting the Taliban but Not Hurricane Refugees


Minnesotan’s in Bahamas comment on Hurricane Dorian relief efforts

“It’s total devastation,” said Basil Christie, a graduate of St John’s University in Minnesota who is now the hurricane relief coordinator for the Archdiocese of Nassau. “This one is going to be a serious challenge because you can’t get to the islands. Both airports are underwater, so we can’t travel there.”

Basil Christie: “That’s completely destroyed, and school was to have been opened this week. There’s no school. There’s no building there.”

Kent Erdahl: “Are those students accounted for?”

Basil Christie: “Only some of them. We’re still trying. The difficulty is we have no communication.”

…The number of confirmed deaths …[is now] 20.

“We are certain that there are considerably more than that,” he said. “There are whole families that are missing; [that] we can’t find.”

…Building code on the islands required buildings to withstand winds of 150 miles per hour, but Dorian packed 185 mile per hour winds that were sustained for a day and a half.

Minnesotan’s in Bahamas comment on Hurricane Dorian relief efforts |

Bahamas PM laments ‘generational devastation’ as Dorian toll mounts

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Wednesday lamented the “generational devastation” wrought by Hurricane Dorian, as he confirmed the storm’s death toll had risen to at least 20.

He also issued a warning to looters, saying they will be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law” and announced the deployment of additional police and defence force officers.

Shelter, safe drinking water, food and medicine were urgently needed for some 50,000 people on Grand Bahama and between 15,000 and 20,000 on Abaco, UN emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock said after a meeting with Minnis.

People on Grand Bahama island were using jet skis and boats to pluck victims from homes flooded and pulverized by heavy rain and lashing winds from the monster storm.

US Coast Guard and Royal Navy helicopters were conducting medical evacuations, aerial assessments to help coordinate relief efforts, and reconnaissance flights to assess damage.

Bahamas PM laments ‘generational devastation’ as Dorian toll mounts – Daily Nation


A rescue, a reunion and a rush to help in Dorian’s aftermath

The fearsome Category 5 storm blew out the supposedly hurricane-proof windows, turning the glass into razor-sharp shrapnel that opened a wide gash on her knee.

Then the 89-year-old woman and her caretaker settled in to wait for help, and conditions soon worsened.

…The Bahamian government sent hundreds of police and marines into the stricken islands, along with doctors, nurses and other health care workers. The U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and relief organizations including the United Nations and the Red Cross joined the burgeoning effort to rush food and medicine to survivors and lift the most desperate people to safety by helicopter.

…At Cottis’ home, the two women heard helicopters overhead and cars driving past, but the weather and massive flooding prevented any assistance.

…Help finally arrived in the form of neighbor Ben Allen, a 40-year-old construction worker and maintenance man, who showed up with a minivan to take Cottis to get medical attention. Cottis …struggled to stand up and nearly fell over when the group tried to get her into the vehicle, which had a partially collapsed roof and was filled with wet cardboard.

…All of a sudden, Cartwright screamed, “That’s my son! That’s my son!”

She hustled out of the car and swept the 29-year-old marine welder and father of two into her arms as she cried. She had not known until that moment if he was alive. 

A rescue, a reunion and a rush to help in Dorian’s aftermath – ABC News


After Dorian’s destruction in Bahamas, relief efforts start trickling in

At least 20 deaths [have been] attributed to Dorian [so far]as it battered the Bahamas for several days with winds up to 185 mph and torrential rain.

…“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” said Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. “It is going to require a massive coordinated effort to rebuild.”

…“The things people need very quickly are medicines for chronic illness like diabetes, asthma and hypertension that were wiped out in the hurricane,” he said.

Initial assessments show that nearly 75,000 people may be in need of medical aid.

…Dorian wiped out much of the island’s water supply, leaving 62,000 people on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands without clean water.

…“We got a kitchen set up and ready to respond and started delivering meals for folks in clinics and shelters around the island right away,” said Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen executive director. “But the logistics are really unlike anything we’ve experienced before.”

Instead of bringing in their own food, which would take a long time to continuously ship to the island, the organization began using local sources for groceries and supplies to start as quickly as possible, he said.

…Frankel, who initiated private aid efforts in hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017, said the first phase is usually the most chaotic, but several relief organization have begun to trickle in and coordinate with one another.

“People need to now understand that is a really bad situation,” she said. “This is not crying wolf, this is the wolf and we’ve got a long way to go.”

After Dorian’s destruction in Bahamas, relief efforts start trickling in


Also, why aren’t they planing on using local sources for groceries and supplies anyways? If it’s quicker, then why doesn’t every group do that, every single time???!

Dominican authorities say the David Ortiz shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

Ortiz is a strapping 6’3 and 250 pounds, according to the Red Sox. He’s one of the most famous and recognizable athletes in the world. Fernandez is smaller and thinner, with a lighter complexion.

“They don’t look alike at all,” Rojas said. “…Even a breastfeeding infant can identify David Ortiz.”

Dominican authorities say the David Ortiz shooting was a case of mistaken identity. – CNN


Journalists in Haiti demand protection after reporter’s killing | Haiti News | Al Jazeera

Media organisations in Haiti demanded police protection on Tuesday after the killing of a radio journalist who reported on corruption allegations against President Jovenel Moise’s administration.

…Monday’s shooting came amid days of sometimes violent street protests calling for the resignation of Moise, during which several journalists have been attacked.

…The judges of the High Court of Auditors said in a report last week that Moise was at the centre of an “embezzlement scheme” that had siphoned off Venezuelan aid money intended for road repairs.

The judges’ report laid out a litany of examples of corruption and mismanagement.

The magistrates discovered, for example, that in 2014 Haitian authorities signed contracts with two different companies – Agritrans and Betexs – for the same road-repair project. The two turned out to have the same tax registration number and the same personnel.

Journalists in Haiti demand protection after reporter’s killing | Haiti News | Al Jazeera


Ortiz back in Boston, taken to local hospital

A team of surgeons, led by Dr. Abel Gonzalez, operated on Ortiz for six hours and repaired damage done by the bullet to both intestines and his liver. They also had to remove Ortiz’s gallbladder to work on the liver, though the gallbladder itself was not damaged.

Gonzalez said during a Monday news conference that he anticipates Ortiz making a full recovery with no restrictions. Asked about Ortiz’s qualify of life going forward, Gonzalez replied, “When he overcomes this, the same as before.”

Doctors approved Ortiz’s transfer to Boston on a plane sent to the Dominican Republic by the Red Sox.

Ortiz back in Boston, taken to local hospital


So grateful the Red Sox moved so quickly and flew Big Papi home to Boston. They will literally get him the best medical care in the world. It is an immense relief to know that.

So grateful for how quickly Eliezer Salvador got Papi to the hospital. It put a smile on my face to hear that he he apologized for hitting some cars along the way. Boston fans are also Boston drivers. It seemed fitting.

So grateful for the work of Dr. Gonzalez and his entire medical team for saving his life.

…And, the peanut gallery is sure it speaks for all of Red Sox nation in saying:

So appreciative of the folks who caught, beat, and ultimately spared the suspect so he could talk.

David Ortiz flown to Boston after being shot in a bar

Eliezer Salvador, who was at the scene, said the gunman said nothing, just fired once. Salvador then drove a wounded Ortiz to the hospital, telling reporters they had a brief conversation in the car as he urged the baseball great to stay calm and breathe.

“Do you have any problems with anyone?” Salvador recalled asking him, to which Ortiz replied: “No, my brother, I’ve never wronged anyone.”

Salvador held up Ortiz’s bloody belongings for reporters, along with some of his jewelry. He also apologized for hitting several cars while rushing to the hospital: “That wrongdoing was justified.”

…“He is resting,” the elder Ortiz said. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”

He added that he is pleased with the medical attention Ortiz has received but that he will be transferred to Boston so he can be with his wife and the Red Sox medical team.

…“In 2013, when we needed David Ortiz the most, he was there for us,” Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said Monday. “Our focus is on his health and on getting him back here for treatment.”

David Ortiz flown to Boston after being shot in a bar |

Yes, Mr Salvador, I think you are right. It was.


US announces new travel restrictions on Cuba, banning cruise ships

The Trump administration announced plans to further restrict travel to Cuba in April, when White House national security adviser John Bolton said the Treasury Department would “implement further regulatory changes to restrict non-family travel to Cuba.”

…The State Department announced that “going forward, the United States will prohibit US travelers from going to Cuba under the previous ‘group people-to-people educational’ travel authorization. In addition, the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, and private and corporate aircraft.”

…Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, who reopened the Cuban embassy in Washington in 2015, called the new restrictions “an attack on international law.”

US announces new travel restrictions on Cuba, banning cruise ships – CNNPolitics