CAGUAS, Puerto Rico – With President Donald J. Trump’s approval of a Major Disaster Declaration on Jan. 16, 2020, homeowners and renters in six designated municipalities may now apply for Individual Assistance from FEMA for losses resulting from the earthquakes beginning Dec. 28, 2019 and continuing.
Homeowners and renters whose homes were damaged in the designated municipalities of Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce, Utuado and Yauco may apply for FEMA disaster grants that may help pay for:
- Temporary housing, including rental assistance and lodging expenses, if the home is unlivable.
- Replacing uninsured personal property.
- Medical, dental, funeral transportation, child care, moving, storage and other serious earthquake-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and charitable aid programs.
And for qualified homeowners in the six designated municipalities:
- Home repairs and disaster-related home damage not covered by insurance. This assistance is to make a damaged home safe, sanitary and functional.
If earthquake survivors have insurance and haven’t already done so, they should file a claim with their insurance company. FEMA cannot legally help with expenses covered by insurance or charitable aid programs.
In addition to insurance, federal and commonwealth assistance, there are several charitable aid programs that can help earthquake survivors get back on their feet.
How to apply immediately for FEMA disaster grants:
- Online, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By phone at 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Operators who speak Spanish are available by pressing 2. Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
- Speak with a FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Team member near your home. DSA Teams are going door-to-door and are also visiting shelters and base camps.
FEMA assistance is in addition to what is available from the Commonwealth and requires a separate registration.
Federal funding also is available to commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the municipalities of Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce, San Germán and Yauco.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.
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) or 711 for Video Relay Service. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish.) TTY call 800-462-7585.
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