U.S. President Biden Approves Puerto Rico Disaster Declaration

The White House

Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Fiona beginning on September 17, 2022, and continuing.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the municipalities of Adjuntas, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Arroyo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cataño, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerío, Corozal, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guayama, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Humacao, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Juncos, Lares, Las Piedras, Luquillo, Maricao, Maunabo, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Río Grande, Salinas, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa, and Yauco.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to Commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures in all 78 municipalities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Lastly, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire commonwealth.

Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Thomas J. Fargione as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and additional municipalities may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated municipalities can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at https://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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