State ready to provide help to Puerto Rico, Baker says

National Guard members could be deployed, if requested

In this Sept. 24, 2017, photo, National Guard Soldiers arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Federal aid is racing to stem a growing humanitarian crisis in towns left without fresh water, fuel, electricity or phone service by the hurricane. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Baker says that Massachusetts is ready to provide support for the hurricane recovery process in Puerto Rico, including help for those relocating to Massachusetts from the island.

The governor is forming a task force to ensure that people who are self-evacuating to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico get necessary financial, housing, health care, or job assistance.

“Puerto Rican communities across Massachusetts have also been traumatized by images of destruction and by fears that loved ones there are in danger. Massachusetts is ready to welcome disaster survivors and our administration is preparing to support those who seek temporary or permanent residence in Massachusetts,” Baker said in a statement sent to 22News.

Additionally, Baker says Massachusetts stands ready to provide any type of support to the island that is requested. That includes possibly sending members of the Massachusetts National Guard, local police officers and state troopers, road and bridge inspectors, water rescue teams, animal rescue workers, dive teams, and saw crews, among others. The state is also willing to lend heavy equipment to Puerto Rico to help with recovery operations.