The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it has awarded approximately $12.6 million in additional funds to Puerto Rico to cover costs related to Hurricane María.
These awards bring the amount of funds obligated under FEMA’s Public Assistance program to $5.8 billion and $28.2 million under the agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, the agency said.
The latest grants approved are as follows:
- More than $5 million to review and adopt updated building codes on the island.
- More than $4 million to fund hazard mitigation planning throughout all 78 municipalities.
- More than $2 million to the Puerto Rico Fire Department for emergency protective measures.
- Nearly $1.6 million to the town of Barceloneta for debris removal.
Updating Puerto Rico’s building code represents the first significant revision since 2011. The codes include hazard resistant provisions that provide for safer and more resilient construction throughout the island. The new codes are more current than those observed by most mainland states.
The hazard mitigation planning grant will fund an island wide project that will reformat, update and improve the consistency of all municipal local hazard mitigation plans.
“This will assist municipalities in updating their plans so they can be eligible for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This program helps communities take mitigation measures that reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters,” FEMA said in a press release.
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 works with Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, or COR3, through the agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the government of Puerto Rico for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and María.
FEMA obligates funding to the applicant for projects through COR3. For applicants to receive the awarded funds, they must provide required documentation to ensure conformity with local and federal requirements.