Puerto Rico Hurricane Irma
Incident Period: Sep 5, 2017 - Sep 7, 2017
Declaration Date: Sep 10, 2017
On This Page
More About This Disaster
Local News & Media
Visit the News & Media page for events, fact sheets, press releases and other multimedia resources.
How Do I Find My Family?
We are working in close collaboration with the American Red Cross, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and other community partners to help reunite families separated as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Survivors with internet access are encouraged to connect with loved ones via social media platforms. When those are not available, the below resources are suggested for those in, and outside of, the impacted areas.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public, and available in English and Spanish. There are a number of ways to use this service:
- Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.
- Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English.
- To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) activated its National Emergency Child Locator Center at 1-866-908-9570. If your missing child has a disability or has access and functional needs, please indicate that when making a report to NCMEC.
Anyone who finds a child who may have been separated from parents or caregivers, please contact the local police and enter basic information and/or a photo into the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Unaccompanied Minors Registry. If you have found an unaccompanied child, please indicate whether the child has a disability or has access and functional needs in the appropriate field in the Unaccompanied Minors Registry. If you do not have access to the internet, please call 1-866-908-9570.
Returning Home & Cleaning Up
- NFIP Policyholders Must Follow the Guildelines of Their Flood Policy When Cleaning Up
- Mold Cleanup after Floods (EPA)
- Public Assistance: Contracting Requirements Checklist
Tips for Clean-Up
Below are a few simple guidelines to follow that will make the clean-up and salvage process safer and easier:
- Always wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
- Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines and other exterior damage.
- Take photos of your damage before you begin clean up and save repair receipts.
- Your home may be contaminated with mold, which raises the health risk for those with asthma, allergies and breathing conditions. Refer to the Center for Disease Control for more info on mold: www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/pdf/flyer-get-rid-of-mold.pdf.
- Open doors and windows so your house can air out before spending any length of time inside.
- Turn off main electrical power and water systems and don’t use gas appliances until a professional can ensure they are safe.
- Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage.
- Throw out all foods, beverages and medicines exposed to flood waters or mud including canned goods and containers with food or liquid.
- Also, throw out any items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals, etc.).
- Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
- Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with flood waters.
- Clean all hard surfaces (flooring, countertops, appliances, sinks, etc.) thoroughly with hot water and soap or detergent.
National Flood Insurance Program
Information about Loss Avoidance. NFIP flood insurance policyholders may be able to get up to $1,000 to help with protective measures taken to avoid flood damage when a flood is imminent.
- Esta página explica el proceso de reclamaciones y los pasos a seguir mientras archiva y trabaja con su ajustador y agente. ¿Cómo presento mi reclamación contra inundaciones?
- Visit FEMA’s How do I File My Flood Claim? site that explains the claims process and steps to follow as you file and work with your agent and adjuster. The more you know, the smoother the process will go.
- Download and print this guide for insured-survivors on What to Do After the Flood
- Report your loss immediately to your insurance agent and ask them about advanced payments: NFIP's Write Your Own insurance companies
- Read more about what to do after your inspection.
- NFIP Policyholders Must Follow the Guidelines of Their Flood Policy When Cleaning Up. Read the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeowners' and Renters' Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters.
- How to file your NFIP flood insurance claim infographic.
Steps to File a Claim
FEMA’s How do I File My Flood Claim? page offers more details on each of the steps below, along with more information for Hurricane Irma survivors who have flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program.
- STEP ONE: File a Claim
- Who to call
- What information to provide when reporting your claim
- How to register for FEMA assistance online
- STEP TWO: Prepare For Your Inspection
- How to document damage
- How to remove your flood damaged items
- Who to contact as you make repairs
- STEP THREE: Work with Your Adjuster
- What you should expect from your adjuster visit
- What to know, do, and discuss with your adjuster
- What to do after your inspection
- STEP FOUR: Complete A Proof of Loss
Note for Hurricane Irma Survivors: Although ordinarily required within 60 days from the date of loss, completing a Proof of Loss (POL) will be waived for a period of one-year. The insurance company will accept the adjuster’s report to pay your claim. You will need a POL if you find additional flood damage or if you disagree with what the insurance company pays you.
Please keep in mind that even after you receive an initial payment for your flood claim, you have the option to request additional payment. You will need to submit a POL by one year from the date of loss if you request additional payment(s).
Unsatisfied With Your Claim Payment? If after you receive a denial letter (for all or some of your flood insurance claim) from your insurer you are unsatisfied with the dollar amount being offered for flood-loss repairs or replacements, you may explore other options. These options are only available for policyholders who have received a denial letter.
How to Help
Volunteer and Donate
Recovery can take many years after a disaster. There are many ways to help such as donating cash, needed items or your time. Learn more about how to help those in need.
Don’t self-deploy to disaster areas. Trusted organizations in the affected areas know where volunteers are needed. Work with an established organization to make sure you have the appropriate safety, training and skills needed to respond.
FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs) build relationships and coordinate efforts with voluntary, faith-based and community organizations active in disasters.
Doing Business with FEMA
If you are interested in providing paid services and goods for disaster relief, visit our Doing Business with FEMA page to get started.
If you own a business involved with debris removal and want to work on clean-up efforts in affected areas, please contact the local government in affected areas to offer your services.
|Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved||$11,123,995.93|
|Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved||$1,826,287.23|
|Total Individual & Households Program Dollars Approved||$12,950,283.16|
|Individual Assistance Applications Approved||1676|
|Emergency Work (Categories A-B) - Dollars Obligated||$10,497,879.50|
|Total Public Assistance Grants Dollars Obligated||$10,992,497.82|
|Hazard Mitigation Assistance||Amount|
|Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) - Dollars Obligated||$755,217.00|