ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded more than $162,000 to the territory to retrofit the Emile C. Berry Fire Station to withstand hurricane force winds.
Providing a full spectrum of fire services and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the fire station serves approximately 20,000 Virgin Islanders. The location also serves as an alternate Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a primary coordination point with the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) EOC.
The St. Thomas station sustained significant damage during Hurricane Irma when severe winds and rain breached the facilities.
Five of the station’s structures will be wind retrofitted, enabling the structure to withstand winds speeds of more than 180 mph. These measures will mitigate the risks posed by hurricane winds, including wind load, flying debris and wind-driven rain to reduce future structural damage or failure.
Hurricane roof straps will be installed, along with hurricane shutters, wind-rated storm and garage bay doors. Additional hardening of rooftop equipment, roof vents, skylights, electrical/mechanical and other equipment will be completed.
Once the work is underway on this critical facility, it is estimated to take up to three years to complete.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after a disaster.
Follow us on social media at twitter.com/femaregion2 and www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands. 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.