González-Colón reacts to FEMA admitting its response in Puerto Rico was inadequate

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Congress | Comments

Puerto Rico’s delegate to Congress, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón reacted to reports of FEMA acknowledging in a report that it was unprepared for the disaster in Puerto Rico following Hurricane María.

“After reviewing the report submitted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), we understand the agency itself acknowledged that their response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was not the best. This has been reiterated by agency officials in multiple congressional hearings. The lack of a detailed plan to replenish supplies in Puerto Rico, when 80% of the supplies located on the Island had been sent to the US Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma, left Puerto Ricans destitute in the middle of the hurricane season.

When FEMA sent most of the supplies located in Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to Hurricane Irma, they should have been more proactive in resupplying the Island’s inventory, given that we were in the middle of the hurricane season. We have discussed these issues in several meetings and the agency has recognized that they need to adjust, and will be adjusting, their emergency plan so that this does not happen again.

I will be asking the agency to submit a report detailing the supplies that are located on the Island, as well as the federal action plan for this hurricane season. “We will be issuing a request for information to FEMA’s leadership so that they itemize  the amount of tarps, cots, food, water, and personnel they have in Puerto Rico to face this hurricane season. It is imperative that FEMA prepares to have a larger reserve of supplies and have it divided by territory. I know that both Administrator Long and FEMA staff in Puerto Rico are committed to improve whatever is necessary to guarantee a better response in future disaster situations”, explained the Resident Commissioner.