SAN JUAN, PR -- Puerto Rico residents who suffered losses caused by the heavy rains, flooding, landslides and mudslides left by Hurricane Irene have more time to apply for federal/state disaster recovery assistance. Officials of the Government of Puerto Rico and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the period to register for assistance has been extended from October 26 to November 25, 2011.
“We hope this additional time will ensure that everyone who suffered damage and losses from Hurricane Irene will get the federal and state assistance they need to rebuild their lives”, said Justo Hernández, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer. “We need to keep the registration period open if we want to reach all the people that still need help”, said Juan C. Pavía, the Governor’s Authorized Representative.
Eligible individuals and families may apply for assistance with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those who have speech disability or hearing loss. The lines are available from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday. On the Internet, disaster information remains available 24 hours a day at www.disasterassistance.gov, www.fema.gov or via mobile application m.fema.gov.
Homeowners, renters and business owners that suffered damages in the following municipalities Adjuntas, Aguas Buenas, Arroyo, Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerío, Fajardo, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Humacao, Jayuya, Juncos, Las Piedras, Loíza, Luquillo, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Ponce, Río Grande, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Trujillo Alto, Vega Baja, Vieques and Villalba are eligible for assistance until November 25, 2011.
Once registered, survivors can follow up on the status of their case by calling the same toll-free telephone numbers or visiting the Disaster Recovery Centers which are open in the declared municipalities.
As of today, more than 56,462 residents have already called to apply for assistance; 36,470 survivors have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers located throughout the affected municipalities and more than $25.2 million in grants have been disbursed.
Available assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for renters, homeowners and businesses of all sizes to cover uncompensated property losses, and other programs that help meet eligible disaster-related 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.