ST. CROIX, VI – The first Virgin Islanders using FEMA’s PHC program received keys Fri. Sept. 28, 2018 to their repaired St. Thomas home 90-days after work began.
“Getting Virgin Islanders back into their homes by helping them rebuild is one of the main reasons why we’re here,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne. “Recovery is never an easy process, but we are making progress and remain committed to helping homeowners rebuild, come back stronger and be better prepared to face future storms.”Since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the U.S. Virgin Islands last September, more than $83 million in Federal and territorial recovery grants have been disbursed to eligible homeowners and renters for temporary housing assistance and other needs.
FEMA, in partnership with the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and the governor’s office, approved PHC for eligible survivors who sustained at least $17,000 in FEMA Verified Loss (FVL), but not destroyed by the hurricanes.
Survivors who participate in PHC are provided assistance in the form of direct repairs to their pre-disaster primary residence in lieu of financial assistance from FEMA. The agency contacts these eligible survivors via phone calls, texts and emails with program details.
Before approval, FEMA ensures that repairs are necessary to make the home, safe, sanitary and functional. The estimated labor and repairs to the home must not exceed $125,000. Repair costs must be reasonable and are determined on a case-by-case basis.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after a disaster.
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).
For official information on the recovery effort following the hurricanes, please visit www.informusvi.com or www.usviupdate.com. Follow us on social media at twitter.com/femaregion2 and www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands. To sign up for emergency, weather related, public safety and service disruption alerts on the Virgin Islands, sign up for Alert VI or copy https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736729008#/login into your browser.
To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (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.