The government of Puerto Rico, the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have established a Consolidated Resource Center on the island to help move recovery forward, the federal agency announced.
A Consolidated Resource Center, known as a CRC, was established on June 3 to streamline the delivery of public assistance in Puerto Rico. The Consolidated Resource Center Atlantic is FEMA’s fourth center, with three others in Texas, Virginia and California processing more than 100 disasters, the agency noted.
“The Consolidated Resource Center Atlantic is more than a center to process the island’s permanent projects, it is a symbol of the collaboration between the Commonwealth and FEMA to effectively focus on the historic recovery that lies ahead for the residents of Puerto Rico,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico, Jonathan Hoyes.
Establishing a center is part of the broader framework within the national Public Assistance delivery model, which was initially implemented in disasters beginning September 2017 and is currently in use in Puerto Rico to improve efficiency, accuracy and transparency in the public assistance process.
With more than 50,000 successfully completed projects nationwide using the public assistance delivery model and Consolidated Resource Centers, Puerto Rico is benefiting from the implementation of this proven program delivery approach.
“With the establishment of this CRC in Puerto Rico, we solidify our collaboration with FEMA which we expect will result in a better, swifter and more efficient processing of estimates. The fact that this center will operate locally, provides a more direct and personal access to the whole process,” said COR 3 Executive Director Omar J. Marrero.
Currently, local FEMA staff on the island represent more than 82% of the long-term disaster recovery workforce, and nearly 150 temporary jobs can be filled by local staff at the Consolidated Resource Center Atlantic. Teams of qualified FEMA staff are training both local Public Assistance and COR3 personnel to ensure effective project formulation.
“As Puerto Rico heads into its long-term recovery, the Consolidated Resource Center Atlantic stands as an important milestone that will help shape the way the island faces disasters in the future,” FEMA said in a press release.
While the initial focus of the center is the processing of public assistance projects in Puerto Rico, the new center is a permanent operation that will eventually support disasters nationwide, FEMA said.