Key Messages

  • Today is the deadline for Virgin Islanders to register for disaster assistance from FEMA. Those who have had damage from hurricanes Irma or Maria and haven’t registered yet, should do so at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center.
  • Since hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the territory in September, federal assistance has been consistently flowing to survivors and communities to repair, recover and rebuild. So far, more than $464 million in federal funding has been provided.
  • Seven Disaster Recovery Centers remain open across the territory to provide information and help for survivors of the hurricanes. The DRCs are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The DRCs will remain open to help survivors as long as the need remains.

    IA Summary

Hurricane Irma DR-4335-VI

Hurricane Maria DR-4340-VI

Total*

Valid Registrations

15,528

22,044

37,572

Housing Inspections Assigned

12,398

17,328

29,726

Total Inspections Returned

12,305

17,245

29,550

IHP Approved

$23,360,271.51

$23,285,296.78

$46,645,568.29

IHP Disbursed

$23,673,539.46

$23,528,408.47

$47,201,947.93

Housing Assistance Disbursed

$18,784,783.87

$17,933,771.74

$36,718,555.61

Other Needs Assistance Disbursed

$4,888,755.59

$5,594,636.73

$10,483,392.32

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

Housing Assistance

• Housing assistance after a disaster can be challenging and for a territory that spans several islands with few housing resources the challenges are multiplied. Each situation is unique and we want to find solutions that match the need. In some cases, that may mean getting help from the territorial government, from insurance, from FEMA, from a non-profit organizations, or a combination of many types of assistance.

 

• FEMA is addressing the need for disaster housing assistance in the territory by providing several different options in addition to our regular grants that go directly to survivors. These options include:

o FEMA has authorized Direct Leasing as part of its Individual and Households Program. The agency leases directly from property owners only in situations in which there is a severe shortage of rental housing, such as here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Direct Leasing is only utilized in circumstances where a disaster survivor is unable to secure housing with FEMA rental assistance. Property owners interested in having their rental property considered for Direct Lease should send an email to FEMA-USVI-DirectLease@fema.dhs.gov.

o 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.

o FEMA has also approved Permanent Housing Construction, or PHC, in the form of direct home repairs for eligible survivors who meet the criteria. FEMA will perform only those repairs necessary to restore a pre-disaster residence to a safe and habitable condition. This is limited to the real property components eligible under FEMA’s Housing Assistance program.

 Those homeowners whose initial housing inspection indicated they may be eligible for the PHC program are being contacted via phone calls, texts, and emails.

SBA Loan Activity
• Total amount of home loans: $272,681,200 (Irma: $141,625,300; Maria: $131,055,900)
• Total number of home loans: 4,279 (Irma: 2,098; Maria: 2,181)
• Total amount of business loans: $26,097,500 (Irma: $18,876,800; Maria: $7,220,700)
• Total number of business loans: 216 (Irma:137; Maria: 79)
• 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. The physical damage deadline to submit the SBA disaster loan application is today.

• 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 in 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 Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 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: $118,378,008 (Irma: $4,429,729; Maria: $113,948,279) • Eligible Applicants: 284 Obligated: 31

Power
• Total restored: 92 percent (STX: 90 percent; STT: 92 percent; STJ: 99 percent)

Cell coverage:

  • Total coverage: 81.2 percent (STX: 80 percent; STT: 84.38 percent; STJ: 62.5 percent)

    Debris

  • Total debris removed: 562,080 cubic yards (STX: 419,536; STT: 107,631; STJ: 34,913) of

    approximately 741,000 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  Frederiksted at Plaza Extra West

    • One Day Only Saturday Jan. 13; Hours of operation: 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) 7405 Estate Bovoni, 4B-D
  •   Bovoni Landfill at Estate Bovoni, Landfill Road
  •   Mandahl Transfer Station, Mandal Road, between Yvonne Bowsky School

    and Mahogany Run golf course

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

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

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

• Seven Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open across the territory to provide information and help for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria. They are located at:

o St. John:
 Cruz Bay at the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature, St. John Annex, 1D  Coral Bay at the Town & Country Building, 8-1 Estate Emmaus

o St. Croix:
 Christiansted at the Old Post Office Building at Church and Company

streets
 Christiansted at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 38-44 Castle Coakley  Frederiksted at the Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate LaGrange

o St. Thomas:
 Charlotte Amalie at the former Scotiabank, 81 CC&DD Kronsprindsens

Gade
 Charlotte Amalie at Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 233

• To date, the DRCs have logged a total of 50,091 visits.