SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) located in the municipalities of Ciales and Fajardo will remain open through close of business Friday, December 17, 2004. The DRCs will be operating this week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Disaster aid applicants visit the DRCs as an initial step to get general advice on their disaster aid application. As of December 12, 2004 more than 44,000 disaster aid applicants have visited the DRCs, which have been located in several municipalities throughout the island.
At the DRCs applicants can speak to representatives from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other key disaster assistance agencies. In addition, experts on hazard mitigation are at these centers providing information on how to safeguard buildings against future rains, storms and floods.
The DRCs are currently located in:
- Ciales: María Isabel Blanco Library, Rd. 149 (entering the town; in front of the cemetery)
- Fajardo: Municipal Legislature Hall, City Hall (2nd Floor), Dr. López Street (corner of Muñoz Rivera St.).
The Helpline, which is a permanent FEMA service, will be available after the closing of these centers. The Helpline number is 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585, for those with hearing or speech impairment), and is available seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., until further notice.
Helpline representatives can assist those applicants 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.
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.