By Bianca Padró Ocasio | Feb 01, 2019

Jessica Seiglie, co-founder and executive director of Basura Cero talks about the challenges of solid waste disposal the island is facing; as San Juan homeowner Esteban Class still waits for rubble and fallen trees to be removed from the front of his house where he placed them in December.

A team from UM’s Miller School of Medicine surveyed 213 people in the Orlando and Miami metro areas and on the island, and conducted focus groups in Florida with 36 people, to study how fleeing Puerto Rico after the Sept. 20, 2017, storm affected themental health of survivors.

Participants in Central Florida reported having a harder time finding jobs, housing and transportation. Generally, they felt less welcome than those who moved to Miami and surrounding areas. By the time the survey was conducted, from February to April 2018, many of those who relocated to South Florida had settled into homes and begun jobs, the study’s authors said.

The disaster claimed nearly 3,000 lives on the island and drove an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 to relocate to Florida. Orange County was their top destination, followed by Miami-Dade and Osceola.