This is the main page for up-to-date resources and information on the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
Follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials. (Español)
Stay in Touch with FEMA
- If you haven’t heard from us after applying for assistance, you may need to update your contact information. If you changed your address or phone, even temporarily, be sure to let us know.
- Make sure you have your nine-digit FEMA registration number at all times.
Hurricane Workforce Employment Opportunities
If you are interested and a current resident of Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, email email@example.com your current resume and include the location ("Puerto Rico" or "Virgin Islands") and the position of interest in the subject line.
Programs Available to Puerto Ricans in the Continental U.S.
Transitional Sheltering Assistance is currently available to eligible survivors who are currently in the Continental United States. Under TSA, qualified disaster survivors may be eligible to stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time. For eligible applicants currently in the Continental United States:
- Make sure you update FEMA with current information by contacting us.
- You may stay at any participating hotel. Applicants are responsible for identifying a participating hotel and checking for availability. To find a participating hotel, visit http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php.
- FEMA will not reimburse for travel that already occurred, or travel to a participating hotel within the Continental United States.
- You must confirm with the hotel that you are checking into a TSA room. Be sure to have your FEMA registration number and a valid photo ID.
FEMA will provide rental assistance directly to disaster survivors, who are then responsible for finding available rental resources of their choosing. The amount of monthly rental assistance available to survivors who evacuated to the Continental United States depends upon the county or parish where the survivor has relocated following Hurricane Maria. That is why it is so important to keep your contact information updated with FEMA.
- FEMA is allowing survivors to verbally designate a local point of contact or representative to act on their behalf, if they are unable to be present for an inspection.
- If you have been contacted by an inspector, let the inspector know who your local point of contact is and how the inspector can contact them.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also accept a local representative in order to install a blue roof on a survivor’s home. Survivors who are unable to physically sign up for the Blue Roof Program, or provide a right of entry form, because they are displaced should call 888-766-3258.
Cell Phones: No Cost Roaming Charges
All Cellular Service customers, in both Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands will have service upon the first roaming partners availability.
Service providers will not be charging additional roaming charges in the areas at this time. Please check with your service provider for the date “roaming” charges will be reinstated.
If you are having difficulties “roaming” on your cellular device simply “reset” the phone by turning it all the way off for a few seconds. Once you turn your device back on, you should be able to “roam” freely
How to Find or Reunite with Loved Ones
Following events like Hurricane Maria, we understand that communications networks are not always operational. As communications are restored, there are numerous options for survivors, friends, and family members to search for loved ones.
Survivors with internet access are encouraged to connect with friends and family members via social media platforms. Additional resources below are suggested for those both outside and inside the impacted areas.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website allows individuals to register themselves as safe or 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 who has a serious, pre-existing health or mental health condition, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).
The American Red Cross Emergency App features an “I’m Safe” button that allows users to post a message to their social accounts, letting friends and family know they are out of harm’s way. The app can be downloaded for free in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or by texting ‘GETEMERGENCY’ to 90999.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Anyone who finds a child who may be 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 find 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.
Information for Tourists
Any tourists requiring transport off the islands should contact the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism at (340) 772-0357 or visit www.usviupdate.com/ for additional information.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has set up a hotline at 877-976-2400 for people staying at hotels.
Additional information for the U.S. Virgin Islands is available at the following locations:
Federal Response Updates
All figures as of December 14, 2017
We update these figures daily, Monday through Friday; for the most current progress of recovery related to a number of critical sectors in Puerto Rico, please visit the Government of Puerto Rico's website: www.status.pr
Federal Force Laydown
- Nearly 15,000 federal civilian personnel and military service members, including more than 2,900 FEMA personnel, are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands engaged in response and recovery operations from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
- 35 states are supporting 146 requests for mutual aid in Puerto Rico and 22 states are supporting 60 requests for mutual aid in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- All municipalities of Puerto Rico and all of the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible for Individual Assistance
- Approximately 88.75% of grocery stores are open in Puerto Rico
- Mail pick-up or delivery to P.O. boxes at all 128 post offices including Vieques and Culebra
Power Restoration and Fuel Impacts
- San Juan financial district is back on the electrical grid -- 61.40% of customers have electricity*
- Roughly 84.27% of retail gas stations are operational in Puerto Rico*
- 1,049 generators installed by USACE for critical infrastructure in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- 61.80% of St. Thomas & 49% of St. Croix customers have electricity
- 2,932 miles of Puerto Rico's 5,073 miles of roads are open, allowing for passage through the outer ring of the island (as of 11/03/2017).
- 95% of roadways in the U.S. Virgin Islands are passable, with no full closures to major roadways as of October 14.
- 100% of federally maintained ports are open or open with restrictions in Puerto Rico
- 100% airports are open or open with restrictions in Puerto Rico
- Normal operations have resumed at airports in St. Thomas and St. Croix
- Approximately 92.91% of Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) customers have potable water* and additional water is being provided by bottled and bulk water
- 94% of waste water treatment plants are working on generator power in Puerto Rico
- Boil Water Advisory remains territory-wide for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Hospitals and Medical Care Impacts
- To provide additional surge capacity if needed, the Department of Defense hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in Puerto Rico on October 3, and has treated 4,762 patients since.
- The ship offers a broad range of medical care with surgical, obstetric and pediatric capability and is equivalent to a level-two trauma center in the United States. The ship is staffed by more than 500 medical personnel and support staff and holds 250 hospital beds.
- 99% (67/68) hospitals are open in Puerto Rico*
- 94% (45/48) Dialysis Centers open in Puerto Rico*
- FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, has provided more than 46.14 million meals and 52.88 million liters of water to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Additional meals and water continue to arrive to the islands regularly via air and sea.
- As of October 25, the Governor of Puerto Rico has 9 Regional Staging Areas around the island, serving all 78 municipalities. The National Guard is delivering supplies to the regional staging areas around the island.
* Data source: www.status.pr
To see more photos of the federal response to Hurricane Maria, visit the following collections from our federal partners:
On Social Media
Point of Distribution Locations
Puerto Rico - This list is as of December 9, 2017
Points of Distribution are located in the following municipalities. For locations to pick up supplies, please call the emergency management office in your zone.
Zone I: San Juan
Zone V: Mayagüez
Zone VI: Ponce
Zone VII: Utuado
Zone IX: Guayama
Zone X: Caguas
Zone XI: Humacao
How to Help
For Hurricane Maria, there are three ways that the public can most effectively and efficiently help provide support for survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
FEMA does not transport donations collected by local, tribal, territorial or state government or collected by private sector, non-governmental organizations, or NVOAD from point of collection to impacted areas.
The fastest way to help – cash is best
The most effective means to support recovery of communities affected by Hurricane Maria is to donate money to trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This gives these organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now. In addition, when these organizations purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local and regional economy, helping businesses recover faster.
- To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit www.unitedforpuertorico.com.
It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g., clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
- To responsibly donate goods, the NVOAD website has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual and corporate in-kind donations.
- If you would like to give in-kind donations, coordinate with NVOAD organizations to identify the best ways to pick up and drop off your donations.
Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations underway is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations.
- To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the National VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster.
Thank you for your interest in helping the survivors of Hurricane Maria. When disaster strikes, America looks to FEMA to support survivors and first responders in communities all across the country. We are currently seeking talented and hard-working people to help support the hurricane response and recovery efforts.
Urban Search & Rescue Operations
Urban Search & Rescue teams have reached all municipalities thus concluding the mission. Teams have saved or assisted 843 individuals and searched over 2,600 structures.
- If you encounter flood waters, remember – turn around, don’t drown. Don't drive through a flooded area.
- Avoid debris, downed power lines, and flood water, which may be electrically charged and hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away. Avoid downed power or utility lines as they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
- Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way as much as possible.
- If your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it.The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
- If you have a flooded basement in your home, never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
- If your power is out, safely use a generator or battery-operated flashlights.
- Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
- Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.
- Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home's electrical system – they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
Beware of Fraud & Price Gouging
After a disaster scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.
Survivors should keep in mind:
- FEMA does not authorize individual contractors to solicit on its behalf. Beware of any individual contractors contacting you directly on behalf of FEMA to sign you up for debris removal or remediation services.
- If you have any concerns about individuals representing themselves as FEMA or would like to report fraud, please contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal and state workers never ask for, or accept money, and always carry identification badges
- There is NO FEE required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or the state
- Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, text or in person
Price gouging occurs when a supplier marks up the price of an item more than is justified by his actual costs. Survivors are particularly susceptible because their needs are immediate, and have few alternatives to choose from. If you find price gouging report below:
Report Price Gouging
United States Attorney's Office
Torre Chardón, Suite 1201
350 Carlos Chardón Street
San Juan, PR 00918
- Main Phone: (787) 766-5656
- Toll Free Phone: 1‐877‐USA‐5656 (1-877‐872‐5656)
U.S. Virgin Islands:
United States Attorney's Office
Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
5500 Veterans Drive
St. Thomas, VI 00802-6424
- St. Thomas Main Phone: 340-774-5757
- St. Croix Main Phone: 340-773-3920
Dealing with Contractors:
Survivors should take steps to protect themselves and avoid fraud when hiring contractors to clean property, remove debris or make repairs.
Simple rules to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
- Only use contractors licensed by your state
- Get a written estimate and get more than one estimate
- Demand and check references
- Ask for proof of insurance
- i.e., liability and Workmen's Compensation
- Insist on a written contract and refuse to sign a contract with blank spaces
- Get any guarantees in writing
- Make final payments only after the work is completed
- Pay by check.
The best way to avoid fraud is to arm yourself against it by having a checklist to remind you of what you need to demand when hiring a contractor.
Helping Children Cope
To talk to a professional who can help you cope with emotional distress from the storm: Call the @disasterdistressline at (800) 985-5990 crisis support services are available 24/7.
Children may cope more effectively with a disaster when they feel they understand what is happening and what they can do to help protect themselves, their family, and friends. Here’s how you can help them cope and a Fact Sheet:
- Talk about the concerns about the storm with your children. To not talk about it makes it even more threatening in your children's mind. Start by asking what your children have already heard and what understanding they have. As your children explain, listen for misinformation, misconceptions, and underlying fears or concerns, and then address these.
- Explain - as simply and directly as possible - what is happening or likely to happen. The amount of information that will be helpful to children depends on their age and developmental level, as well as their coping style. For example, older children generally want and will benefit from more detailed information than younger children. Because every child is different, take cues from your own children as to how much information to provide.
- Encourage your children to ask questions, and answer those questions directly. Like adults, children are better able to cope with a crisis if they feel they understand it. Question-and-answer exchanges help to ensure ongoing support as your children begin to understand the crisis and the response to it.
- Limit television viewing of disasters and other crisis events, especially for younger children. Consider coverage on all media, including the internet and social media. When older children watch television, try to watch with them and use the opportunity to discuss what is being seen and how it makes you and your children feel.
- Reassure children of the steps that are being taken to keep them safe. Disasters and other crises remind us that we are never completely safe from harm. Now more than ever it is important to reassure children that, in reality, they should feel safe in their schools, homes, and communities.
- Consider sharing your feelings about a crisis with your children. This is an opportunity for you to role model how to cope and how to plan for the future. Before you reach out, however, be sure that you are able to express a positive or hopeful plan.
- Help your children to identify concrete actions they can take to help those affected by recent events. Rather than focus on what could have been done to prevent a disaster or other crisis, concentrate on what can be done now to help those affected by the event.
- Play games and do activities together to create meaningful dialogue and offer a distraction.
- If you have concerns about your children's behavior, contact your children's pediatrician, other primary care provider, or a qualified mental health professional.