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FEMA releases report highlighting Puerto Rico’s recovery on the ground and ongoing efforts to rebuild

by | May 7, 2024 | Federal Government, Puerto Rico | 0 comments

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell recently announced the agency published its first-ever Puerto Rico Interim Progress Report to highlight progress on the islands after hurricanes María and Fiona, and the earthquakes in 2020. FEMA’s efforts to help rebuild are paving the way for an unprecedented recovery and, in coordination with the Government of Puerto Rico, the pace of the recovery has gained momentum in the last several years as new infrastructure, permanent repairs, and reconstruction can be seen across the islands.

“Collectively, we are working on over 11,000 recovery projects from these disasters that will dramatically impact the everyday lives of residents,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “With each site that is rebuilt, we are investing in Puerto Rico’s economy and helping to build the Island’s resilience to severe weather events. This critical work will also help boost the Island’s recovery and response capabilities for future generations—ensuring communities are safer and more secure in this increasingly challenging disaster landscape.” 

FEMA is maximizing this historic opportunity to ensure the islands are built back in a way that is stronger and can lessen the impacts of other natural disasters in the future. By partnering with communities and local leaders to understand their vulnerabilities, FEMA is leading the way to find equitable solutions that help advance equity and climate adaptation and ensure recovery is community-driven. Through funding to implement current building codes across the islands and other rebuilding projects to mitigate historic flooding in the Caño Martín Peña community in San Juan, for example, FEMA is ensuring recovery efforts result in resilient outcomes. Residents in this community will benefit from improvements to the sanitary sewer system and stormwater infrastructure in the area, among other significant permanent work.

The entire federal family is helping to boost the islands’ resiliency efforts through innovative practices that will strengthen communities and better serve the islands’ residents. Working closely with other federal agencies, recovery partners, and the communities, FEMA is focused on ensuring efforts on the ground are community-driven and support the unique needs and challenges of residents. Partnerships with the University of Puerto Rico to assess hurricane damage along the islands’ coasts and the US Department of Energy to help the islands reach 100% renewable energy by 2050, among others. are helping inform the way forward through the lens of climate change and climate adaptability.  

“Puerto Rico continues to recover due to our workforce’s commitment to the task of rebuilding a resilient island.  While preserving its historic and environmental heritage, they take great pride in knowing that their efforts contribute to building a strong, beautiful, and resilient island for future generations,” said Regional Administrator David Warrington, FEMA Region 2.  “With each project that is rebuilt, the island moves closer to becoming an example of resilience in the Caribbean.”

FEMA, together with local communities and the whole of government, stated it is committed to Puerto Rico’s long-term recovery and will continue to offer unwavering support as the islands and its people build toward a bright and resilient future.



William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-José Vélez González is a native from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate from Florida International University in biomedical engineering, engineering management, and international relations. A designer with a strong interest in science, policy, and innovation, he previously served as the national executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association. William-José lives in Washington, DC, where he works at the Children's National Research Institute and runs Opsin, a nonprofit design studio dedicated to making design more accessible. You can see him on Love is Blind as Lydia's brother. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Pasquines.


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