SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Aguada will remain open through close of business Friday, December 3, 2004. The remaining Disaster Recovery Centers located in Ciales, Fajardo and Santa Isabel will continue operations Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., until further notice.
Although the registration process concluded on November 22, 2004 those who registered for disaster assistance can take advantage of the DRCs. Representatives from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other key disaster assistance agencies are available at the centers.
In addition, experts on hazard mitigation are at the centers providing information on how to safeguard buildings against future rains, storms and floods. The DRCs are currently located at:
- Aguada: Fine Arts Center, Café Teatro, Paz Street, corner of Manuel Ruíz (front of Plaza Cristóbal Colón)
- Fajardo: Municipal Legislature Hall, City Hall (2nd Floor), Dr. López Street (corner of Muñoz Rivera St.). (The Canóvanas DRC merged with this DRC).
- Santa Isabel: Centro de Usos Múltiples Francisco Robledo, Monseñor Ferrer Avenue (near Urb. Santiago Apóstol- in front of Parque Infantil Melween Cedeño)
- Ciales: María Isabel Blanco Library, Rd. 149 (entering the town; in front of the cemetery)
Applicants should visit a DRC, as an initial step to get general advice on their disaster aid application. Afterwards, the applicants can access FEMA through the Helpline. Those who have questions, need to update or correct information on the application, verify the status of an application, or need to obtain information about disaster assistance programs, may call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585), seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 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.