Key Messages

  • More than $251 million in total federal recovery dollars has been approved for the
    U.S. Virgin Islands, including $35.2 million in individual and household grants to help pay for rental housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses, and over $107 million in U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Of the total federal dollars, an additional $109 million has been obligated for public assistance grants.
  • Housing assistance after a disaster can be challenging and for a territory that spans several islands with few housing resources the challenges are multiplied.

    o Each situation is unique and we want to find solutions that match the need. In some cases, that may mean getting help from the state, from insurance, from FEMA, from a non-profit organizations, or a combination of many types of assistance.

    o We’re working case-by-case, family-by-family, and community-by-community to help weigh options and make informed decisions.

  • With millions of dollars in recovery funds flowing to Virgin Islanders whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the hurricanes, homeowners are advised to hire legitimate contractors for repair or reconstruction work.
  • Some Virgin Islanders who sustained damages as a result of hurricanes Irma or Maria may receive a letter from FEMA stating they are ineligible for disaster assistance. Survivors who receive an ineligibility letter should know it may not be the last word from FEMA. It may mean they need to provide additional information.
  • U.S. Virgin Island survivors of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria have until December 18 to register with FEMA for assistance.

Hurricane Irma DR-4335-VI

Hurricane Maria DR-4340-VI

Total*

Valid Registrations

15,029

21,300

36,329

Housing Inspections Assigned

11,912

16,469

28,381

Total Inspections Returned

11,615

15,300

26,915

IHP Approved

$17,584,706

$17,626,147

$35,210,853

IHP Disbursed

$16,995,312

$16,159,601

$33,154,913

Housing Assistance Disbursed

$14,087,760

$13,275,192

$27,362,952

Other Needs Assistance Disbursed

$2,907,552

$2,884,409

$5,791,961

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

Housing Assistance

 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 available for FEMA’s use and it must have been previously used as rental property. Property owners interested in having their rental property considered should contact the MLR email at FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov.

SBA Loan Activity

  • Total amount of homeowner loans: $96.6 million (Irma: $52.2 million; Maria: $44.4 million)
  • Total number of homeowner loans: 1,371 (Irma: 705; Maria: 666)
  • Total amount of business loans: $10.6 million (Irma: $7.2 million; Maria: $3.4 million)
  • Total number of business loans: 66 (Irma: 39; Maria: 27)
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • SBA is operating Business Recovery Centers on St. Croix and St. Thomas to provide information about low-interest disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are located at:

o The Small Business Development Center, 8000 Nisky Center, Suite 720, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

o The Small Business Development Center, 4100 Sion Farm Shopping Center, Suite 16, Christiansted, St. Croix

Public Assistance

  • Total Obligated: $109,539,012 (Irma: $4,133,931; Maria: $105,405,081)
  • Eligible Applicants: 258 Obligated: 15
  • The deadline for government entities and certain private nonprofit organizations to submit a

    Request for Public Assistance (RPA) with VITEMA has been extended to December 29. (MORE)

 

 Total restored: 48.2 percent (STX: 40.2percent; STT: 53.6 percent; STJ: 57.5 percent) Cell coverage:

  • Total coverage: 75.6 percent (STX: 79 percent; STT: 79.7 percent; STJ: 25 percent)

    Debris

  • Total debris removed: 329,823 cubic yards (STX: 280,897; STT: 31,551; STJ: 17,375) of

    approximately 851,000 cubic yards total.

  • FEMA has been authorized to fund 100 percent of the cost for debris cleanup for the first six

    months from the start of the incident periods for hurricanes Irma and Maria – until

    March, 4, 2018 for Irma and March 15, 2018 for Maria.

  • This cost share applies to ALL debris removal operations regardless of the reduction method.
  • 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.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is collecting household hazardous waste. Residents should drop off batteries, fluorescent bulbs, household cleaners and solvents, pesticides, etc. at these collection locations:

    o St. Croix:

 Frederiksted at Evelyn Williams Elementary School

 Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Kingshill at The Home Depot, 1105 Barren Spot

 Hours of operation: Saturday, Dec. 9 (one day only) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 Frederiksted at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, at the Headquarters Parking Lot, Tranberg Road

 Hours of operation: Saturday, Dec. 16 (one day only) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

o St. John: Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center
 Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday,

and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

o St. Thomas:
 Charlotte Amalie at Addelita Cancryn Jr. High School  Lima (Gasworks)
 Bovoni Landfill

 Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Disaster Survivor Assistance

  • 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 34,384 survivors and conducted 11,007 registrations. (MORE)

 

Disability Integration

 FEMA is delivering donated durable medical equipment to survivors who lack medical equipment or have other accessibility needs. Survivors in need of such equipment should let FEMA know when they register for assistance – or speak to someone on the FEMA Helpline.

Disaster Recovery Centers

 Nine Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open across the territory to provide information and help for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria. DRCs are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The DRCs have logged a total of 34,477 visits to date.

o The DRCs will remain open to help survivors as long as the need remains.
o St. John DRCs are at: Cruz Bay at the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature, St. John

Annex, 1D Cruz Bay; Coral Bay at the Town & Country Building,

8-1 Estate Emmaus
o St. Croix DRCs are at: Christiansted at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 38-44 Castle

Coakley; Frederiksted at the Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate LaGrange; Christiansted at the Old Post Office Building at Church and Company streets; Christiansted at Fire Captain Rencelliar I. Gibbs Fire Station, Parcel #1, Estate Cotton Valley, East End

o St. Thomas DRCs are at: Charlotte Amalie at the former Scotiabank, 81 CC & DD Kronsprindsens Gade; Charlotte Amalie at Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 233; Estate Bordeaux at the Bordeaux Farmers Market, 109 East Bordeaux

Disaster Unemployment Assistance
 The deadline to register for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is 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 the following locations:

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

o St. John: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 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.

Medical/Health Assistance

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making the Emergency Prescription 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. The current enrollment period runs through Feb. 1, 2018.

  • The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s (WAPA) boil water advisory has been lifted for St. Thomas and St. John. It remains in effect for St. Croix.
  • Social Media: Visit www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands to find information on federal response and recovery activities for the U.S. Virgin Islands.