SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Voluntary Agencies Liaison (VAL) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supported a Meeting and Orientation Fair for all Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) members to provide them with current information, as wells as an opportunity to interact among entities with similar background, interests and needs. This event took place on Saturday, August 14, 2010, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, at the Complejo de Recreación y Deportes in Hato Rey, next to the YMCA premises.
“The LTRGs support their communities all year long, and this activity promotes it,” said Josué Díaz, Voluntary Agencies Liaison with FEMA. “During this meeting and orientation fair, the participants obtained additional knowledge to help families and their communities to be ready to respond to emergencies, preventing and reducing damages to life and property, and offering them the tools to survive.”
When disaster strikes, people in affected communities become first responders to their neighbors and families in need, and very often will remain as their continuous support. Building upon that feature, the local and State governments and FEMA, have encouraged the establishment of LTRGs throughout the Island. Since the flooding events of September 2008, more than 51 LTRGs have been created and have been receiving training on emergency preparedness, donations management, among others.
The LTRGs comprise voluntary agencies, non-profits, faith based organizations, and concerned individuals which remain active throughout the year, working closely with individuals and families, helping them meet their needs with resources that may include transportation, family counseling, housing and rental aid, food, construction and repair, debris removal, household goods, or financial aid. Their support is crucial to prevent the duplication of services to people affected by disasters; and assisting those who have unmet needs.
FEMA encourages individuals, families and businesses to be proactive and get ready for any hazards in their communities; have an emergency kit and plan, get flood insurance if living in a flood prone area, etc. Additional information is available at www.ready.gov.
FEMA's mission to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.