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Acting FEMA Administrator and Puerto Rico Governor Meet to Discuss the Island’s Recovery

Release date: 
December 4, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4339-PR NR 404

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico As part of his three-day visit to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor met with Governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced and other government officials today to discuss the island’s recovery.

One of the main topics discussed during the hour-long meeting at La Fortaleza was the joint priorities between FEMA and Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3. These include, maximizing funds under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program, obligating funds for projects that cost $123,000 or less, focusing on large critical infrastructure project obligations and ensuring funds for emergency work are disbursed.

“The collaboration between COR3 and FEMA is paramount as we move forward with the planned recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico. As we embark on the next stages of obligation and disbursement of small and larger infrastructure projects, we will continue strengthening our partnership with FEMA,” said Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced.

Since Acting Administrator Gaynor and Governor Vázquez-Garced last met in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 12, 2019 FEMA has obligated over $111.5 million for emergency work, debris removal and permanent work to help the island’s communities recover. To date, nearly $6 billion has been obligated under FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

“We are a team when it comes to the recovery of Puerto Rico. We are proud to be working alongside COR3 and the Government of Puerto Rico. Our goal is to achieve recovery as fast as possible and build back the island stronger,” said Acting FEMA Administrator, Pete Gaynor.

Also present during the meeting were Alex Amparo, Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ottmar Chávez, Director for COR3, Thomas Von Essen, FEMA Region II Administrator, Eric Heighberger, FEMA Chief of Staff, Jeff Byard, FEMA Associate Administrator and Jacqueline Novas, the Governor’s Chief Counsel for Federal Affairs. 


FEMA, the Government of Puerto Rico and COR3 remain committed in their efforts to expedite recovery funding and reimbursement of all eligible costs.

For more information on the Hurricane María recovery, visit




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-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.


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Last Updated: 
December 4, 2019 - 12:52