SAN JUAN, PR -- As survivors and communities in Puerto Rico continue recovering from the heavy rains, flooding, landslides and mudslides left by Hurricane Irene, Government of Puerto Rico and federal officials review the activities triggered by the disaster, after a month.
The coordinated recovery operation between the Government of Puerto Rico and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has resulted in the disbursal of more than $17.7 million in disaster aid to 16,846 survivors.
“We activated our emergency plans, put in practice years of training, and it paid back. Many survivors evacuated their homes in advance, listening to our preparedness message and instructions, putting their lives out of harm’s way” explained Juan C. Pavía, Governor’s Authorized Representative.
On August 21, 2011, Hurricane Irene moved throughout the island dumped more than 22 inches of rain causing widespread flooding damages, and the activation of the emergency response plan of local, state and federal governments.
“With record amounts of rain for the island, the joint efforts of the responding agencies and a prepared community, we completed the response phase with one fatality to regret,” said Justo Hernandez, Federal Coordinating Officer. “Now we are supporting the survivors to recover promptly, and provide them with adequate disaster assistance.”
Hurricane Irene Response
- On August 21, 2011 the Governor declared a state of emergency, and requested a Presidential emergency declaration. On August 22, 2011, President Obama granted the emergency declaration, making all 78 municipalities eligible to apply for Public Assistance which reimburses expenses for protective measures taken during the emergency.
- On August 25, 2011State/Federal Preliminary Damage Assessments were commenced to determine the extent of the damages.
- On August 27, 2011, President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration.
Hurricane Irene Recovery -- A month later
- More than 48,234 survivors have registered for federal assistance.
- 32 Disaster Recovery Centers provided support to a total of 21,323 disaster survivors.
- A total of $18,377,547 has been approved for the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).
- More than $6,856,665 has been disbursed for the Housing Program (HA).
- A total of $10,913,132 has been disbursed for Other Needs Assistance (ONA).
- There are 109 inspectors in the field, and a total of 42,634 inspections have been issued.
- More than $723,900 in low-interest loans to individuals and businesses have been approved by the Small Business Administration.
- To date, close to 224,705 cubic yards of debris have been removed from public property in the affected municipalities. The debris removal operation is still ongoing.
During this hurricane season, emergency preparedness should be a priority for every community member. To learn on emergency preparedness, how to create an emergency family plan and kit, residents may visit www.ready.gov.
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.