Puerto Rico resident commissioner sends personnel to expedite Irma claims
SAN JUAN – Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González has mobilized staff from her district office to various municipalities to learn firsthand of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma and help expedite their claims with federal and state agencies.
Most of the problems found were electric power and water service interruptions, roads blocked by fallen trees, rivers that changed their course and a need for water pumps, among others. The personnel also coordinated efforts with the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (Prasa) and the Electric Power Authority (Prepa).
In Ponce, the mayor reported landslides, interruptions in PR-503 and PR-505, boats in the La Guancha marina collided, resulting in spillage of diesel.
The commissioner urged municipalities to collect all information possible regarding their needs to submit it to the State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management (Aemead), which in turn coordinates assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
If a municipal reports a damage estimate of more than $90,000, it may be declared a disaster area.
FEMA and Aemead evaluate the reports and decide whether to include it in their disaster declaration request. Reports must include each type of damage for the application to be delivered to the respective federal agencies because grants are evaluated individually.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency is responsible for agricultural insurance. For more information, download their local directory.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans. For more information, visit their dedicated page.