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Caribbean Area Division

Established in 1991, the Caribbean Area Office (CAO) implements and coordinates all emergency management programs in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands and supports preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation operations and activities. Both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are vulnerable to recurrent hurricanes, flooding and geographically lie in a major earthquake/tsunami risk zone.

Linemen upgrade power lines in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to increase the ability to withstand strong winds.

What We Do

The Caribbean Area Office functions as a satellite office for Region II, providing permanent FEMA presence in an area vulnerable to recurrent hurricanes and flooding, which is also located within a major earthquake risk zone. FEMA programs and units present at the CAD, includes:

  • Recovery
    • Public Assistance (Infrastructure)
    • Individual Assistance
      • Voluntary Agencies Liaison
  • Mitigation
    • Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA)
    • Floodplain Management
  • Protection and National Preparedness
    • Continuity of Operations (COOP)
  • Response
  • Mission Support
  • Grants

Private Sector

FEMA’s whole community approach has enabled partnerships with hundreds of private sector participants that include businesses of all size and type, academia, consulates, among others. Also, there is a CAO Business Emergency Operations Center plan in place that may be activated, when needed.

FEMA CAO disseminates a monthly emergency preparedness e-Newsletter to its private sector stakeholders, that provides educational information and awareness related to preparedness activities that FEMA, the PR Emergency Management and USVI Emergency Management Agencies conduct to better prepare their communities in the Caribbean.


The CAO supports the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau and the U.S. Virgin Island Territorial Emergency Management Agency, through the delivery of training, seminars, planning meetings, preparedness exercises and workshops, Mitigation, Individual and Public Assistance program guidance, technical assistance in grants management, and FEMA/State/Territorial project reviews.

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Last Updated: 
06/22/2020 - 16:02