SAN JUAN, PR -- Commonwealth and federal recovery officials report that $65,517,043 has been approved in disaster aid to help local residents and businesses recover from the rains, floods and mudslides that occurred November 10-23, 2003.
After the November 21, 2003 presidential disaster declaration for the affected areas in Puerto Rico, 59,666 applicants registered for federal disaster aid. As of March 2, 2003 the recovery efforts performed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and other federal and voluntary agencies have resulted in the following:
Individual and Households Grant (IHP) Program
A total of $56,897,484 has been approved under the FEMA IHP. The IHP provides assistance to individuals and families to meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance, federal, commonwealth or voluntary agency disaster assistance programs. To date, the total aid approved to residents in the twenty-one designated municipalities is:
|Cabo Rojo||$ 490,599.05||Naranjito||$2,818,061.10|
|Juana Diaz||$2,416,632.60||Toa Baja||$ 218,113.35|
The voluntary organizations have processed 7,079 special needs cases. The cases are referred to voluntary organizations to research alternate assistance to disaster aid applicants.
Public Assistance (Infrastructure)
The FEMA Public Assistance (Infrastructure) Program has approved $2,894,659 in aid to reimburse the commonwealth agencies and twenty-one municipal governments for the costs of rebuilding the damaged infrastructure. That may include debris removal, approved costs of emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement or restoration of flood-damaged public facilities, such as roads and bridges, buildings, parks, water control facilities and utilities.
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA has approved 693 disaster loans for a total of $5,674,900 in disaster related loans. Low-interest SBA loans may be available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes to cover real estate and personal property damage that is not fully compensated by insurance or other sources.
The PR Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration received a $50,000 grant from FEMA to work with the affected residents having difficulty coping with stress-induced problems. Those affected with disaster related stress, should contact the Psychosocial First Aid (PAS, by its acronym in Spani...