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Disaster Assistance for Earthquake Survivors Doesn’t Discriminate

Release date: 
June 24, 2020
Release Number: 
DR-4473-PR FS 13

Earthquakes don’t discriminate and neither does FEMA.

FEMA has a mission to ensure disaster assistance is made available to all people in the community. FEMA does not treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. That means reaching out to everyone.

Those protected classes of people are written into federal law as an equal rights statement of policy that guides FEMA’s approach to providing fully inclusive disaster recovery services.

To help survivors, FEMA first needs to identify those in need of assistance in order make services available. The first step for individuals is to fill out an application. FEMA may provide assistance in many ways: some financial, some through connections or referrals with its state and local partners.

The deadline to apply is July 2.

There are several ways to apply:
• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Press 2 for a Spanish-speaking operator. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
• Visit
• Download FEMA’s mobile app. Select Disaster Resources and click on Apply for Assistance Online. If you have an Apple device: Text APPLE to 43362 (4FEMA). For those with an Android device: Text ANDROID to 43362 (4FEMA). For more information go to:
• Visit any open Disaster Recovery Center.

Survivors should let FEMA know if they need a reasonable accommodation to access FEMA services, programs or information. FEMA provides free aids and services to people to help them communicate with FEMA specialists and understand FEMA programs. FEMA provides:
• Information available in Braille, large print or audio
• Information available in accessible electronic formats on FEMA’s website and social media
• Qualified Sign Language interpreters
• Qualified multilingual interpreters
• Information written in other languages

For more information on Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery, visit and Facebook:



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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Last Updated: 
June 24, 2020 - 11:45