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FEMA hosts 2024 Caribbean Readiness Initiative in Puerto Rico

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Release Date:
May 9, 2024

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Leading Puerto Rico and FEMA officials met in Puerto Rico from April 29 to May 10 to participate of the 2024 Caribbean Readiness Initiative and strengthen preparedness capabilities to ensure that the Island’s emergency response structure is ready to support any type of emergency incident, as the upcoming Hurricane Season approaches.

“At the beginning of hurricane seasons, we are always asked if the government is prepared. This type of initiative is part of that government preparedness, both at the municipal, state, and federal level, to be able to manage any emergency that may occur, during hurricane season or at any time. That is why the emphasis is that the community must be prepared. The government will respond, but it is important that everyone is prepared at the individual, family, and community level. We continue to work hand in hand with FEMA to continue helping our island,” said Nino Correa Filomeno, Commissioner of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau (PREMB).

The Caribbean Area Readiness Initiative is an annual series of workshops, trainings, meetings, and sessions that FEMA coordinates with emergency managers from federal, state, municipal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector to discuss critical topics and build up the knowledge and capabilities needed to improve Puerto Rico readiness and response postures before the start of the Hurricane Season. 

“During these two weeks, Puerto Rico and key federal personnel were immersed on discussions about the requirements to restore critical infrastructure such as power, water, and other essential services. We also talked about, debris management, resources available, and how Puerto Rico will determine if federal resources are necessary to support the response and recovery of the Island. We are working with Puerto Rico officials to strengthen their readiness, individuals at home and work should also start preparing for emergencies,” said Orlando Olivera, Coordinator of the FEMA Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico. “The current weather situation is a reminder that everyone needs to be prepared for all type of emergencies, even when the start of the Hurricane Season is a few weeks away.”

The 2024 Readiness Initiative includes supporting the PREMB with seminars throughout the island to ensure that municipal officials are up to date on FEMA programs and policies. During these seminars, FEMA subject matters experts (SMEs) in Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation and FEMA grants share information and guidance with emergency managers and first responders from the 78 municipalities of the island, regarding Debris Management Plans, Response and Recovery Processes, Grant management, Training and more.

These collaboration and readiness efforts do not end this week. In the upcoming weeks and months, FEMA will support PREMB with their Readiness Summit and later host the 2024 Governor’s Executive Tabletop Exercise, with all secretaries and heads of agencies, to discuss emergency management priorities, and other key topics to bolster readiness and response postures across the whole community.

FEMA encourages anyone who lives in areas that may be affected during an emergency to take time now to prepare at home, school, work, and the places where they spend more time before the upcoming Hurricane Season starts. Visit www.Ready.gov/hurricanes to learn what you can do to get ready, and download the FEMA App, which provides preparedness tips and weather alerts for up to five different locations.

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FEMA's mission is to help people before, during and after disasters.

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