WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Tropical Storm María during the period of September 8-14, 2011.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the municipalities of Juana Díaz, Naguabo, and Yabucoa.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all municipalities in the commonwealth.
Justo Hernández has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Hernández said that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated municipalities can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
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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.