An emphasis on disaster planning and preparedness in Puerto Rico is expected to enhance any potential response during the 2018 hurricane season.
Planning and Training
- Puerto Rico’s Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency said 74 of the island’s 78 municipalities developed their own recovery plans with the support and guidance of FEMA incident management teams.
- FEMA is providing training exercises and technical assistance to both the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and the island’s 78 municipalities.
- During the spring and early summer, the government of Puerto Rico and FEMA conducted a comprehensive media campaign that provided planning and preparedness guidance to help all populations in Puerto Rico get ready for the upcoming hurricane season.
- FEMA has 3,000 federal employees in Puerto Rico ready to respond to a new disaster.
- The Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency hosted an event to educate attendees on the National Qualification System. NQS provides a nationwide approach to resource management during disasters by enabling stakeholders to work together to manage all threats and hazards.
- The Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Conference joined the island’s governor, cabinet, mayors and emergency managers to provide education and training on debris management, lessons learned from Maria and to discuss energy, water, telecommunications, transportation and commodity distribution in preparation for the 2018 hurricane season.
- FEMA and agency partners participated in the Annual Joint Interagency Hurricane Terrain Walk in Puerto Rico to strengthen relationships among partners and take part in hurricane preparedness training exercises.
- A Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents course was conducted in Bayamón with the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and Departments of Health to prepare facility and system-level personnel for response to an all-hazards mass casualty incident in which first responders and first receivers practice response, assessment, decontamination, triage and treatment in a real-time scenario.
- Puerto Rico Emergency Operations Center personnel practiced responding to simulated crises incidents within a structured learning environment as part of the Integrated Emergency Management Course held with state agency personnel and the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency.
- Activation, integration and transition procedures were tested in readiness exercises with FEMA’s Incident Management Assistance Team, the National Response Coordination Center and the Puerto Rico Incident Management Team.
With support from FEMA, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency held a planning and training exercise for commodity distribution in selected municipalities and distribution points.
Increased amounts of water, food, tarps and other necessities are stockpiled in four new supply warehouses (see attached chart):
- 5.4 million liters of water
- 3.6 million meals
- 600 generators
- 10,000 blankets
- 80,000 to 100,000 tarps
- 30,000 to 40,000 rolls of plastic sheeting
- 50 Infant and toddler kits
A total of 421 shelters are available:
- Primary Shelters 263
- Alternate Shelters 113
- Temporary Shelters 46
Of the available shelters, 81 percent are in schools, 19 percent are in other facilities
- Evacuation Capacity (fewer than 72 hours): 115,554 people
- Longer-term Capacity (72 hours or more): 57,777 people
FEMA worked with Puerto Rico government agencies to conduct an island-wide exercise for the Emergency Alert System and the Wireless Emergency Alert System. Additionally, FEMA, PREMA and the Department of Public Safety executed a public outreach plan concerning the alert system exercises including radio, television and mobile phones.
Disaster Recovery Center Conversions
Many disaster recovery centers will convert to Community Recovery Centers and will remain open through the end of the hurricane season. FEMA and other stakeholders will assist residents with recovery and preparedness efforts.
For more information on Hurricane María recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339.