SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will open on Saturday, January 10, 2004 a new disaster recovery center (DRC) in Aibonito, announced disaster recovery officials. The center will operate Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., until further notice.
The DRC will be at the Marrón Aponte Coliseum (in the facilities of the Flowers Festival), located on Road 722, Km. 6.6. Representatives from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and other key disaster agencies will be at the centers to assist the disaster affected residents. Mitigation experts also will be at the center to provide information on how to safeguard buildings against future floods and landslides.
Any individual, family, or business owner who sustained damage because of the rains, floods and landslides, which occurred on November 10-23, 2003, is invited to visit the recovery center for information on disaster assistance. Residents should register for assistance by calling FEMA, toll-free, at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585, for persons with speech or hearing problems). The line is available Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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.