The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it has awarded the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the Municipality of Río Grande a combined $49.3 million to cover Hurricane Maria-related expenses.
The grants approved are distributed as follows:
- More than $42.5 million to PREPA to reimburse other utility providers that repaired electricity systems damaged or destroyed in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María;
- More than $3.7 million to the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency for emergency protective measures; and,
- Nearly $3 million to Río Grande for debris removal.
To date, the FEMA Public Assistance program has obligated nearly $3.7 billion in total funding to municipalities and government agencies for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and María, the agency confirmed.
“Emergency protective measures are actions taken to eliminate or lessen immediate threats either to lives, public health or safety, or significant additional damage to public or private property in a cost-effective manner,” FEMA noted.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to eligible government organizations and certain private non-profit organizations. This assistance is granted for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities.
The program also encourages protection of the damaged facilities from the next events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.
The Public Assistance program is funded by FEMA and administered by the government of Puerto Rico. FEMA allocates funding for these projects directly to the government.
“It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the eligible agencies, municipalities and nonprofits receive these awards as reimbursements after providing appropriate documentation,” FEMA stated.