GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – Disasters affect everyone in their path. That’s why all survivors must have equal access to FEMA programs and recovery efforts.
FEMA is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities or access and functional needs have the right to the same programs and services as the general population.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38.1 percent of adults in Puerto Rico have some type of disability. Across the island and throughout the United States, FEMA provides accommodations at each step in the recovery process.
To support recovery from Tropical Storm Isaías, Disaster Survivor Assistance specialists help residents with applications and answer questions outside Disaster Recovery Centers in Aguada, Hormigueros and Rincón.
Newspapers, radio, television, sound trucks, social media, local officials, and private sector partners help to spread important recovery information in multiple languages.
Disaster Recovery Centers have adapted to the Covid-19 environment with new safety protocols, including the required use of masks or face coverings. Residents have a choice of making an appointment for an in-person visit by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Anyone who just needs to provide paperwork can simply use the drive-thru, where no appointment is needed and staff will scan documents and return them to you.
An in-person visit to a Disaster Recovery Center allows access to technology equipment. Among the tools are amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is also available and in-person sign language is available by request.
Before the next storm, the deaf community can review “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs,” a FEMA video presented in English and sign language. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLLMDOScE4g.
For more information on Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4560
and Facebook: www.facebook.com/femapuertorico.
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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