San Juan, PR -- Federal Coordinating Officer Justo Hernández wants to remind Puerto Rico residents affected by the May floods in the declared municipalities that the only way to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance funds is to call the teleregistration number at 1-800-462-9029. The special line for hearing or-speech impaired persons is 1-800-462-7585. The registration number has Spanish and English speaking operators available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Disaster Recovery Centers are scheduled to open this week, but Hernández stressed that the only way to register for federal assistance is by calling the toll-free number. The Disaster Recovery Centers will not be taking applications. "If you need federal disaster assistance, make sure you apply first by phone before visiting a center," Hernandez said.
The designated municipalities eligible for the Individual Assistance program are Adjuntas, Cabo Rojo, Guánica, Guayanilla, Lajas, Rincón, Sabana Grande, San Germán, and Yauco.
Hernández suggests that residents calling to register should have some basic information available for the twenty-minute phone-call. "You should have two telephone numbers where an inspector can reach you in order to set up a time with you," Hernández said. The applicant also should have a social security number and the address of the damaged property.
After residents register with FEMA, an inspector will contact the applicant to arrange an appointment to check on the damages.
Once application information and damages have been confirmed, then FEMA can determine the type of assistance needed. "Disaster aid is determined on a case-by-case basis," said Hernández. A determination is normally made within two weeks of the inspection.