SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have disbursed $42,270,654 dollars under the Individual and Household Program (IHP) to applicants who suffered damages resulting from the rains, flooding and landslides which occurred on November 10-23,2003. To date, some 44,155 residents have filed for disaster assistance in the twenty -one disaster declared municipalities.
“Disaster aid has been delivered expeditiously to the affected families and individuals to help them on their way to recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Justo Hernandez. “Once families receive this assistance they are able to make key decisions with regards to their disaster-related housing and other personal needs”.
The municipalities included under the Presidential disaster declaration were Aibonito, Arroyo, Cabo Rojo, Canóvanas, Fajardo, Guánica, Guayama, Juana Diaz, Lajas, Loiza, Luquillo, Maunabo, Naguabo, Naranjito, Patillas, Rio Grande, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Toa Baja, Yabucoa and Yauco.
Melba Acosta, Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) said “Commonwealth agencies and federal agencies will continue the delivery of assistance to those who suffered damages due to the floods.”
Residents of the twenty -one municipalities who suffered damages as a result of this disaster may still register for assistance by calling the toll-free registration number 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585, for persons with speech or hearing problems). Phone lines are open Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Moreover, those who have already registered for state and federal disaster assistance can call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585) to receive information about the assistance process or provide updates to their application.
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.