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Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on 20 September 2017 and ploughed across the territory with sustained winds of 155 mph. Just two weeks earlier, category 5 Hurricane Irma had struck the island already damaging critical infrastructure making Hurricane Maria even more devasting. The hurricanes caused catastrophic damage, resulting in the largest and longest response to a domestic disaster in the history of the United States. This paper explores the recovery process in Puerto Rico using a community resilience lens. The study examines narratives, the media environment, trusted sources, and information preferences following the crisis. Community workshops, interviews, and focus groups reveal indicators of resilience in Puerto Rico alongside areas for improvement. Theoretical contributions discuss the role of identity, sense of place, and the impact of culture on community resilience. Practical contributions touch on messaging, acknowledging infrastructure vulnerabilities, and the importance of strengthening community relationships.

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Journal of Applied Communication Research

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