When Marriott Hotels’ PR executive Maria Teresa Torruella left her
Puerto Rico homeland for the US two months ago, little did she realise
that the reason for her departure was to haunt her through to the Land
Having experienced countless hurricanes - almost 20 - during her four
years in PR and sales at the San Juan Marriott Resort and Casino,
Torruella said enough was enough and sought to find a way out to further
So, with the international PR manager’s job up for grabs at Marriott’s
Washington DC headquarters, she jumped at the chance to relocate.
But last week’s Hurricane Floyd, which devasted the Bahamas and parts of
the US east coast, decided to follow her - as Floyd made its way to the
’I just couldn’t believe it,’ says Torruella. ’It was like being back at
home. The reason I left Puerto Rico was to escape the hurricanes. But
having experienced hurricane warnings, alerts, threats and hits, I’ve
kinda become used to it.’
Thankfully for Torruella, the hurricane died down as it headed towards
Washington. But the winds were still strong enough to force the new
recruit to put her crisis communication skills to the test for a planned
Marriott press conference last week.
She cancelled the visit of 20 US journalists and re-jigged events for
the four hapless UK hacks who had already made the transatlantic
At least the experience of her ’hurricane years’ has been put to good
Every cloud, as they say, has a silver lining.