Main Content

Commodities Flow to Disaster Survivors

Release date: 
October 5, 2017
Release Number: 

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been providing critical life-saving and life-sustaining commodities to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in response to Hurricane Maria, as part of a broad federal response to assist the islands.

To date, more than 11.5 million meals, 8 million liters of water, and 30,000 tarps have been transported and delivered to the islands as part of the federal response to Hurricane Maria.   

Through a coordinated and phased delivery process, FEMA is continuing to supply meals, water and tarps to Puerto Rico for local leadership to disperse to the survivors. The commodities are transported by the National Guard and FEMA contractors from the ports and delivered to federal incident support bases (ISB) and staging areas, located throughout Puerto Rico. From the ISB, commodities are delivered to regional staging areas serving all 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico, and using points of distribution in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The government of Puerto Rico is working with Mayors to arrange pickup of supplies from the staging areas whereupon they distribute the commodities to the public.

In addition to these commodities, many voluntary agencies are operating shelters and providing meals and cleaning supplies to disaster survivors. National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster members including voluntary, non-profit, and faith-based organizations also are working closely with the affected communities to assist.  The American Red Cross is working with volunteer organizations and federal partners to ensure that fixed feeding kitchens are opened in numerous locations throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. 

While the catastrophic impact from Hurricanes Irma and Maria led to serious logistical challenges, we’re working closely with our federal partners and Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands officials to continue to sustain lives and restore routine. Through focused efforts, and this whole community unified response from federal, local, and territory governments, along with local officials and volunteer agencies, progress is underway for the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Federal family and partners transport and stage life-sustaining commodities (e.g., meals, water, tarps) for delivery to allmunicipalities.  Local leadership then distributes tosurvivors.Millions of meals and millions of liters of water, and tens of thousands oftarps have been transported to the islands. Move & TransportStagedCommodities are taken to one of the three federal Incident Support Bases in Puerto Rico.Picked Up By Local MunicipalitiesIncident Support Bases push forward commodities to the government of Puerto Rico and territory staging areas around Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.Delivered to Survivors Leadership from the municipalities pick up commodities from staging areas and issue them to survivors.Mayors/local officials in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands support commodity distribution.


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.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59