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Featured January 2020 Earthquake

FEMA includes 9 more P.R. towns as eligible for individual assistance

Nine more municipalities that were affected by the earthquakes that began Dec. 28, 2019, in southwest Puerto Rico have been designated as eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance program.

At the request of the government of Puerto Rico, FEMA extended eligibility for Individual Assistance to Arecibo, Ciales, Hormigueros, Juana Díaz, Las Marías, Mayagüez, Morovis, Orocovis and Sabana Grande under the Jan. 16 presidential disaster declaration.

Sixteen other municipalities were previously approved: Adjuntas, Cabo Rojo, Corozal, Guánica, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Lajas, Lares, Maricao, Peñuelas, Ponce, San Germán, San Sebastián, Utuado, Villalba and Yauco.

“If you suffered damage during the earthquakes that began in December and are continuing, and you are a resident of any of the 25 municipalities, you can now apply for help,” the agency confirmed.

“Disaster assistance for homeowners and renters may include grants to help pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs as well as disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses, transportation, child care, moving and storage,” the agency stated.

“Keep in mind that you must apply directly with FEMA to be considered for FEMA assistance. FEMA grants can supplement what is available from the government of Puerto Rico and therefore require a separate application,” FEMA said.

There are several ways to apply:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov or DisasterAssistance.gov/es for Spanish.
  • By phone at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for other languages. You can apply via telephone from 8 a.m. to midnight every day.
  • Use the FEMA Mobile App or en español for Spanish.
  • In person with a FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance team member. Teams are going door-to-door near your home and are also visiting shelters.
  • Visit any Disaster Recovery Center. Visit FEMA.gov/DRC to find the closest open Disaster Recovery Center, or text “DRC” and your ZIP code to 43362. All centers are accessible.
  • American Sign Language interpreters are available — either in person at Disaster Recovery Centers or via a Video Remote Interpreters app.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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