On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico. Violent winds and rain destroyed the island’s power grid, leaving millions without electricity. When the storm subsided, relief efforts came and went, but for many, power outages remained a reality. During this time, Goal Zero partnered with hard-working organizations to send solar panels, batteries, and lights to those in need.
One of those organizations was Light Up Puerto Rico. Over the course of seven months, groups involved with the Utah-based relief effort flew down to the island with Goal Zero product. Volunteers walked and drove through villages handing out thousands of Torch 250 flashlights along the way. Families shared Goal Zero Yeti power stations, using the Yeti to power their homes and passing it along to the next person in need when their own power came back. For some, regaining access to power meant the difference between life and death, with the ability to run critical medical devices on the line. For others, it meant finally being able to refrigerate food or simply communicate with family and friends once again.
Seven months after the storm hit, with the help of Light Up Puerto Rico, we had the opportunity to connect with a number of the families and individuals who were using our products to power their homes. We traveled to Puerto Rico to listen to their stories and hear how their lives were affected by the loss and gain of power in the wake of one of the most devastating storms on record.