San Juan, P.R. -- FEMA/Commonwealth disaster recovery officials announced today that the Maunabo Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will close operations on Saturday, January 3, 2004 at 6 p.m. This center services the residents who sustained losses or damage as a result of the rains, floods and mudslides that occurred on November 10-23,2003.
“Nonetheless, FEMA services will be as close as a telephone call away,” said Justo Hernández, federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort. “Those who have already registered for state and federal disaster assistance can call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585, for hearing or speech impaired individuals), Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., to receive information about the assistance process or provide updates to their application,” said Hernández.
The DRCs are open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The centers are currently located in the municipalities of Cabo Rojo, Canóvanas, Fajardo, Guánica, Guayama, Juana Diaz, Lajas, Patillas, Rio Grande and Salinas. “Even though the centers are not taking assistance applications, the residents without phone service may use the telephones at the DRCs to call the FEMA toll-free registration line,” added Hernández.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.