Key Messages

  • FEMA and our federal partners continue to push forward vigorously on the recovery missions for both hurricanes across the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’re working closely with the territorial government, local communities, businesses and voluntary agencies on the islands to meet survivor needs and restore essential services.
  • U.S. Virgin Island survivors of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria have until December 18 to register with FEMA for assistance, as FEMA has granted the territorial government’s request to extend the deadlines and make them the same for both disasters.
  • Eligible survivors across the territory can begin applying this week for food aid under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Supplemental Food Assistance Program
    (D-SNAP).

    o D-SNAP provides food assistance to low-income households with food loss or damage caused by a natural disaster.

    o The program is being managed by the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services.

  • Nine Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open across the territory to provide information

    and help for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

o All DRCs will be closed Sundays beginning this Sunday, Nov. 12. DRCs are now

open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
o The DRCs have logged a total of 14,069 visits to date. o St. John DRCs are at:

o Cruz Bay at the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature, St. John Annex, 1D Cruz Bay

o Coral Bay at the Town & Country Building, 8-1 Estate Emmaus o St. Croix DRCs are at:

o Christiansted at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 38-44 Castle Coakley
o Frederiksted at the Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate LaGrange.
o Christiansted at the Old Post Office Building at Church and Company streets. o Christiansted at Fire Captain Rencelliar I. Gibbs Fire Station, Parcel #1,

Estate Cotton Valley, East End.

o St. Thomas DRCs are at:
o Charlotte Amalie at Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 233. o Charlotte Amalie at the New Hotel Company Omar Brown Fire

Station, Conference Room #108, 100A Ross Taarenberg.
o Estate Bordeaux at the Bordeaux Farmers Market, 109 East

Bordeaux.

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through the Blue Roof Program, is making

    Right of Entry (ROE) forms available at ROE Centers across the territory. To find a center location survivors can call 888-ROOF-BLU (766-3258).

    o The deadline has been extended until Thursday, November 23, for survivors to apply for temporary roof repairs through Operation Blue Roof.

  • Homes with a temporary roof repair under Operation Blue Roof are not excluded from power restoration by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA), although the home must first be inspected and certified by a licensed electrician in order for the work to proceed. More information on the process will be available at www.Facebook.com/FEMAVirginIslands.
  • The Multi-Family Lease and Repair (MLR) program targets owners of eligible multi-family dwellings that need repairs, are willing to lease to eligible hurricane survivors and meet certain criteria. For instance, the dwelling must have three or more units and it must have been previously used as rental property.

o Property owners interested in having their rental property considered should contact the MLR email at FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov.

o Due to a technical issue with the program’s email address the past week, FEMA is asking anyone who may have sent an email expressing interest in the program to resend the message to FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov.

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making the Emergency Prescription Program Assistance Program (EPAP) available for uninsured survivors to ensure they have access to medicines and medical equipment.

o The free program provides a 30-day supply of covered drugs and medical supplies that can be renewed every 30 days for as long as the program is active.

o People who live in the disaster area and do not have any form of prescription insurance should call the EPAP enrollment toll-free hotline at 1-855-793-7470.

 FEMA thanks the hundreds of Virgin Islanders who applied for temporary positions to be part of a workforce that includes territorial, local and federal workers, voluntary agencies and community organizations.

o Job offers have been extended to successful candidates following interviews last week on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. The first local hires will be participating in orientation sessions beginning next week.

o After this hiring process is completed, FEMA will no longer be accepting resumes or applications for the current temporary positions.

o Should additional temporary jobs become available, we will work with the USVI Department of Labor to advertise the position and request applications.

 

 The deadline to register for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been extended until December 29 for survivors who lost jobs as a result of Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Maria. The USVI Department of Labor is assisting applicants at these locations:

o St. Croix: USVI Department of Labor, 4401 Sion Farm, Christiansted; Monday through Friday;

o St. John: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the USVI Legislature, St. John Annex, 1D Cruz Bay; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays;

o St. Thomas: USVI Department of Labor at 2353 Kronprindsens Gade; Monday through Friday.

 The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is still experiencing internet and phone disruptions and cannot track packages as quickly as normal. Survivors can check the USPS website at: https://www.usps.com/ and click on the red alert link to view services in their area. USVI Post Offices that are open:

o St. Thomas: One post office is open for retail services, P.O. Box mail, mail pickup and delivery; three are open for retail services, P.O. Box mail and mail pick up; one is open for P.O. Box mail and mail pick up.

o St. John: One post office is open for P.O. Box mail, mail pickup and delivery.
o St. Croix: Two post offices are open for retail services, P.O. Box mail, mail pickup and

delivery; two are open for retail services, P.O. Box mail and mail pickup; one for P.O

Box mail and mail pickup.

  • The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s (WAPA) boil water advisory remains

    in effect for potable waterterritory-wide.

  • The territorial government is advising survivors to properly sort household debris and push

    it to the edge of their property near the street for collection. In order for debris to be collected, it must be sorted into four categories: Whites (appliances), Electronics, Vegetation, and Roofing or Construction Materials.

    Rumors versus Facts

  • Rumor: If you register with FEMA you will receive $500 for immediate needs.
  • Fact: FEMA had authorized up to $500 per eligible household for Critical Needs Assistance.

    The time period for that assistance has now expired.

  • Rumor: It’s difficult to get updates about the status of applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Fact: Survivors may contact SBA at any time with questions about their application. They may call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339. They may also send an email requesting updated information to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. SBA loan specialists are also available to assist survivors at Disaster Recovery Centers throughout the territory.
  • Rumor: It isn’t necessary to fill out an SBA disaster loan application if you do not want a loan.
  • Fact: FEMA urges survivors to complete and return the SBA loan application if one is offered. Survivors should know they do not have to accept a loan. However, if they complete and return

    the application and do not qualify for a loan, SBA will refer them back to FEMA and they could be considered for other FEMA grants for Other Needs Assistance (ONA). This assistance covers disaster-related car repairs, clothing, household items and other items. Survivors cannot be considered for these ONA grants unless they complete and return the SBA loan application.

    Survivors Should Register with FEMA

The important thing to do now is register. Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 for voice, 711, or Video Relay Service. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have difficulty speaking and use a TTY, should call 800-462-7585 directly. The same number can be used for 711, VRS and other relay services.

FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) is designed to help survivors get back on their feet and covers essential needs not covered byinsurance.

IA Summary

Hurricane Irma DR-4335-VI

Hurricane Maria DR-4340-VI

Total*

Valid Registrations

13,788

19,203

32,991

Referred to IHP

11,357

15,579

26,936

Housing Inspections Assigned

10,724

14,518

25,242

Total Inspections Returned

5,785

4,166

9,951

IHP Disbursed $

$5,359,859

$2,758,420

$8,118,278

Housing Assistance Disbursed $

$3,137,505

$928,086

$4,065,591

Other Needs Assistance Disbursed $

$2,222,353

$1,830,334

$4,052,687

*Totals may not reflect applicants who have registered in both disasters

U.S. Small Business Administration

  • The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to help homeowners and renters as well as businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations to cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
  • It’s important that survivors know they do not have to accept an SBA loan, if one is offered. If they do not qualify for a loan, SBA will refer them back to FEMA and they could be considered for other FEMA grants for Other Needs Assistance (ONA).
  • Contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Survivors who are deaf or hard of hearing may call TTY 800-877-8339.

 

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA)/Disability Integration

  • DSA teams are working on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas to support registration of survivors and to provide resource referrals.
  • The teams answer questions about the types of help available, help survivors apply for territorial and federal assistance and update an applicant’s contact information.
  • DSA personnel have met with 30,190 survivors and conducted 10,624 registrations to date.
  • DSA personnel continue to coordinate with FEMA Disability Integration staff to provide

    services to individuals with access and functional needs and assist with unmet needs.

    FEMA and Federal Partner Efforts

Category

Hurricane Irma DR-4335

Hurricane Maria DR-4340

Total

Applications Received – Home

2,507

2,607

5,114

Loans Approved – Home

230

153

383

$$ Loans Approved – Home

$17,898,100

$11,119,600

29,017,700

Applications Received – Business

374

220

594

Loans Approved – Business

16

5

21

$$ Loans Approved – Business

$3,321,000

$411,100

3,732,100

Status Updates

All Islands

St. Croix

St. Thomas

St. John

% of Cell Service

61

52.2

74.2

11.1

% of Power Service

23.6

16.3

29.8

17.6

Blue Roofs Installed

2,982

—-

—-

—-

Generators Installed

143

68

63

12

Debris Removed (CY)

159,982

140,207

13,766

6,009

Beware of Fraud and Scam Artists

  • It’s important to know that FEMA will never call disaster survivors asking them to provide a Social Security number or banking information. If you receive such a call – it is a scam!
  • FEMA housing inspectors and Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are out in impacted communities verifying damages or providing information and assisting survivors. All FEMA representatives, including our contracted inspectors, have a laminated photo ID. Ask to see it if they do not show it. FEMA employees never make or send out copies of their badges. If you receive a paper copy – it’s a scam!
  • Because of the current communications challenges on the islands, FEMA housing inspectors are using various methods to contact survivors to set up an appointment. Survivors MAY be contacted by a legitimate FEMA employee via text message. This is to set up an appointment only. They will not ask for personal information. If anyone does – it’s a scam!
  • There is no fee required to apply for or to receive disaster assistance from FEMA. There is also no fee to schedule or obtain a housing inspection from FEMA.

 FEMA does not endorse any commercial businesses, products or services.
 If you suspect anyone of fraudulent activities, call the free FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at

866-720-5721 or local law enforcement.

Survivor Resources

  • USVI service providers have hot spots set up across the territory to facilitate internet access for survivors. For free USVI public Wi-Fi hot spot locations,
    visit http://vingn.com/pcc/free-wi-fi- hot-spots/.
  • Free Disaster Legal Services (DLS) are available for low-income hurricane survivors who, prior to or because of the disaster, are unable to secure adequate legal services to meet their disaster- related needs. Service is limited to assistance that will not produce a fee.

    o For more information and assistance, call the DLS Hotline at 800-310-7029 during business hours Monday through Friday.

  • To talk to a professional who can help you cope with emotional distress from the hurricanes, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or connect via Twitter: @disasterdistressline. Crisis support services are available 24/7.
  • Visit FEMA’s U.S. Virgin Islands Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands for updated disaster recovery information.