SAN JUAN, PR -- A State/Federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open in Loíza tomorrow September 1, 2011, to support applicants which have already registered by phone or internet, for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Eligible individuals and families may apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or via internet at www.disasterassistance.gov, www.fema.gov or via mobile phone application m.fema.gov.
"Apply by phone or Internet first. If you go to the Center without having registered, the process will be delayed. The main purpose of the center is to provide additional information or expert advice," said Federal Coordinating Officer Justo Hernandez. "Applying for disaster assistance is a call or a click away."
Partnering with State and Municipal governments, FEMA will provide applicants with an opportunity to talk face-to-face with experienced personnel about: disaster assistance, voluntary agencies disaster assistance available and preventive measures to mitigate damages to property and life.
Furthermore, the Director of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, Heriberto Saurí said that, "we continue coordinating among State agencies providing direct services and FEMA; through radio spots we have encouraged residents to apply by phone before visiting the Centers in Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Luquillo, and San Juan."
DRC operating hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Sunday. The Center will be available at the following location:
DRC in Loíza
Estadio Manuel Fuentes Pinet
arr. 188 final (in front of McDonald's)
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Department of Health Secretary, Lorenzo González Feliciano, urges residents to take preventive measures regarding dengue fever. "We initiated an educational campaign in the affected communities that focuses in personal protection to prevent dengue fever contagion. Get rid of areas where mosquitoes breed, such as standing water in flower pots, use repellent when outdoors and fumigate indoors, if possible. With these amounts of rain, we want families to protect themselves against this serious illness," explained the Secretary." The campaign included the distribution of informative material and mosquito repellent.
On August 27, 2011, President Obama granted a federal disaster declaration making individuals and families affected by Hurricane Irene in Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Loíza, Luquillo, and San Juan eligible for disaster assistance. This assistance may include temporary housing, home repairs and other uninsured, disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs.
FEMA's mission is 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.