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Fact Sheet - President Donald J. Trump's Administration Has Helped Lead a Historic Recovery Effort in Puerto Rico

September 20, 2018

"And we stand with Puerto Rico, and we are helping them to rebuild stronger and better than ever before." – President Donald J. Trump

HISTORIC RECOVERY EFFORT: The Federal Government has helped lead a historic recovery effort in Puerto Rico in the year since Hurricane Maria hit.

  • FEMA has joined with Federal partners and the Government of Puerto Rico to undertake one of the largest post-disaster reconstruction efforts in United States history.
  • Never before has FEMA coordinated federal resources to rebuild an entire island of this size.
  • The Federal response to Hurricane Maria marked the largest and longest Federal response to a disaster in the history of the United States. This response included:
    • The longest sustained domestic air mission of food and water response in our history.
    • The largest disaster commodity distribution mission in United States history.
    • The largest disaster generator installation mission in United States history.
  • Billions in Federal funds have been dedicated for Puerto Rico, including:
    • $20 billion allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for disaster-related community development grants to Puerto Rico, the largest ever.
    • $1.4 billion in federal grants approved for more than 462,000 homeowners and renters.
    • $3.2 billion in FEMA Public Assistance funding obligated.
    • $33 million in claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program.
    • $1.85 billion in low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.
    • $8 million in disaster unemployment assistance for more than 9,000 survivors.
    • $802 million approved for FEMA housing assistance.

ONE YEAR LATER: Significant progress has been made over the last year to help Puerto Rico recover following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

  • Following Hurricane Maria, FEMA was presented with unprecedented challenges as it responded to a Category 4 storm that disabled an entire island.
  • Puerto Rico's entire electrical grid failed following Hurricane Maria, but today power has been restored to 99.99 percent of customers able to receive an electrical connection.
  • Water systems were inoperable following Hurricane Maria, but today 99 percent of customers have had water restored.
  • Debris and 41,000 landslides shut down all but 400 miles of Puerto Rico's 16,700 miles of roads, but today roads are clear and traffic is moving.
  • Hurricane Maria knocked out 95 percent of cellular sites, but today 99.8 percent are operating.

PREPARING FOR FUTURE STORMS: FEMA has worked to address lessons learned from Hurricane Maria and ensure the island is better prepared for future storms.

  • FEMA has made preparations that will better enable Puerto Rico to withstand future storms, and led an exercise to test Puerto Rico's capabilities and execution ahead of hurricane season.
  • FEMA deployed regional incident management assistance teams to support 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico in developing their own plans ahead of hurricane season.
  • Stockpiles have been increased in Puerto Rico, including, as of July 30, 2018, 17 times more water, 7 times more meals, and 7 times more generators compared to the same period in 2017.
  • More than 600 strategically located generators are in place to enable FEMA and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to maintain backup power capability during hurricane season.

Donald J. Trump, Fact Sheet - President Donald J. Trump's Administration Has Helped Lead a Historic Recovery Effort in Puerto Rico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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