ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – Six months after back-to-back hurricanes struck the U.S. Virgin Islands, communities in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are working on long-term plans for recovery.
This process is led by the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and local officials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and its partners support the territory through the Interagency Recovery Coordination (IRC) team led by FEMA Region II Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Ken Rathje.
IRC brings together representatives from multiple federal agencies to pool expertise and resources to assist communities rebuild in ways that increase the community’s ability to withstand future hurricanes.
The IRC effort is working to:
- Return businesses, including farms, to a healthy state, and create new economic opportunities.
- Restore and improve health and social service networks.
- Support affordable and accessible housing, including rural development.
- Protect natural and cultural resources and historic properties.
- Strengthen the resilience of the infrastructure.
- Help plan for safer, more disaster-resilient communities.
Federal agencies involved in IRC are the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Interior and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These agencies work in coordination with community-based Long-Term Recovery Groups, the Governor’s Recovery Taskforce, and nongovernmental and private sector organizations.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service)
(TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org. For those who wish to help, cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands also has the “Fund for the Virgin Islands” at www.USVIrecovery.org.