FEMA: USVI Recovery Update
- FEMA has deployed a Hospital Assessment Task Force to conduct a detailed assessment of medical facilities, including the Juan Luis Hospital, the Schneider Hospital and the
Myrah Keating Smith Health Center.
- FEMA has extended the deadline for debris pickup on roadside rights-of-way to March 7 for all three islands.
- The territory’s Emergency Home Repairs VI program sends contractors to hurricane-damaged homes to make emergency repairs, allowing survivors to shelter at home while they plan their recovery. The program is funded by FEMA, but administered by the territory. For more information, call the territory’s hotline at: 844-813-9191 or visit www.ehrvi.com.
Federal funding continues to support the USVI recovery effort. To date, we have provided more than $756.1 million for the following response and recovery efforts:
- FEMA Individuals and Households, includes grants for housing repairs and other needs, such as replacement of personal property, including furniture and necessary appliances: $67.4 million
- FEMA Public Assistance, includes emergency work, power restoration, debris removal and infrastructure: $259.8 million
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) includes low-interest disaster loans for businesses, homeowners and renters: $424.5 million
- National Flood Insurance Program paid claims: $4.4 million Individual Assistance Summary: As of Feb. 13, 2018
*Totals may not reflect applicants who have registered in both disasters
SBA Low-interest Disaster Loans: SBA administers low-interest loans to survivors to repair or replace disaster-damaged homes. Homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate. Homeowners and renters can apply for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property, including automobiles. Interest rates are as low as 1.75 percent for homeowners, renters, with terms up to 30 years. SBA loans can also be helpful as a supplement for what insurance does not cover.
Hurricane Irma DR-4335-VI
Hurricane Maria DR-4340-VI
Total Inspections Returned
Housing Assistance Disbursed
Other Needs Assistance Disbursed
For more information on SBA loans, contact 800-659-2955 or email@example.com. Survivors who are deaf or hard of hearing may call TTY 800-877-8339.
In addition to low interest disaster loans for businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to provide disaster-related working capital to eligible small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. SBA working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications is June 7, 2018 for Hurricane Irma and June 20, 2018 for Hurricane Maria.
SBA Loan Activity: As of Feb. 12, 2018
- Total amount of home loans: $344.8 million (Irma: $181.2; Maria: $163.6 million)
- Total number of home loans: 5,604 (Irma: 2,775; Maria: 2,829 )
- Total amount of business loans: $79.6 million (Irma: $52.3 million; Maria: $27.3 million)
- Total number of business loans: 712 (Irma: 437; Maria: 275)
- 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
Housing assistance after a disaster can be challenging and for a territory that spans several islands with few housing resources the challenges are multiplied. FEMA has been working with the territory to identify short- and long-term housing assistance options to meet the individual needs of survivors. These housing assistance options may include:
Individual and Households Program
- Rental assistance may be provided to homeowners and renters to lease a temporary place to live
while repairing an uninhabitable home or finding a new residence. This assistance can be provided for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration for survivors who have a verified need.
- Lodging Expense Reimbursement (LER) is reimbursement for hotel or motel or other short-term lodging expenses.
- Repair: Financial assistance to repair an owner-occupied primary residence, utilities, and residential infrastructure, including privately-owned access routes (i.e., driveways, roads, or bridges) to a safe and sanitary living or functioning condition.
- Replacement: Financial assistance to help replace an owner-occupied primary residence when the residence is destroyed. Grants provided for repair and replacement are not intended to return the home to pre-disaster condition and cannot duplicate benefits received from insurance or other means.
- Direct Lease: FEMA leases existing residential properties which are move-in ready to house eligible survivors. FEMA is working with property management companies and property owners to identify available properties. This assistance can be provided for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration if survivors can show a verified continuing need. FEMA representatives have been reaching out directly to survivors who may be eligible for this
program; it is for a limited population who have not been able to find temporary housing on their own. Property owners interested in having FEMA lease their property can email FEMA-USVI-DirectLease@fema.dhs.gov.
- Multi-family Lease and Repair (MLR): MLR authorizes FEMA to repair existing damaged multi-family housing units (e.g., apartments) to provide housing for eligible survivors. FEMA is working with landlords to identify potential properties for this program. This assistance can be provided for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration if survivors can show a verified continuing need. FEMA representatives have been reaching out directly to survivors who may be eligible for this program; it is for a limited population who have not been able to find temporary housing on their own. Property owners interested in having FEMA lease their property can email FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov.
- Permanent Housing Construction (PHC), Direct Repairs: Some households eligible for home repair assistance (mentioned above) may meet the criteria for PHC and are being offered an option to participate. PHC involves FEMA hiring contractors directly to repair a home to a safe, sanitary and functional condition. Participation is voluntary. The program is limited to survivors who have at least $17,000 in FEMA Verified Losses (FVL). Any financial assistance previously provided for home repair must be returned to FEMA. FEMA specialists are contacting eligible applicants by phone and email. PHC participants are not eligible to receive Rental Assistance, Direct Lease, MLR or SBA loans.
Emergency Home Repairs V.I. (FEMA’s STEP program)
This program is administered by the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA), funded by FEMA Public Assistance Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program. It is intended to protect public health and safety, to protect property and to enable hurricane-displaced residents to shelter at home. STEP is for disaster-damaged single-family, owner-occupied residential properties. Duplexes and townhomes are considered single-family residential property. To sign up for the program call 844-813-9191 or visit www.ehrvi.com. Survivors can also go to a Disaster Recovery Center to apply.
Public Assistance specialists are continuing to assess cost estimates for repair projects, including damaged hospitals, schools and other public buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
- As of Feb. 12 , 2018: $259.8 million has been obligated for emergency work, power restoration, debris removal and infrastructure repair (Irma: $4.6 million; Maria: $255.2 million)
- Applicants: 509 Obligated: 64
Houses of Worship
FEMA changed its policy to allow private nonprofit houses of worship to be eligible for disaster assistance. The deadline for these entities to make a Request for Public Assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been extended to Feb. 16, 2018. FEMA financial assistance for the repair or replacement of a house of worship facility is limited to costs that a loan from the SBA will not cover. Houses of worship must first apply to the SBA for a disaster loan. FEMA will provide financial assistance if the house of worship is denied a loan or if the loan authorized is insufficient to cover repair costs.
Power: As of Feb. 10, 2018
Total eligible restored: 98 percent (St. Croix: 98.6 %; St. Thomas: 97.3%; St. John: 99.4%)
Debris Removal: As of Feb. 12, 2018
FEMA has extended the deadline for debris pickup on roadside rights-of-way to March 7, for all three islands.
- Total debris removed: 773,901 cubic yards (St. Croix: 572,396; St. Thomas: 147,781; St. John: 53,724) of approximately 785,000 total cubic yards.
- FEMA uses mission assignments to task and reimburse other federal departments and agencies to provide direct assistance including debris removal. As a result of the two major disaster declarations, 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, 7, 2018 for Irma and March 15, 2018 for Maria. This cost share applies to ALL debris removal operations regardless of the reduction method.
- In St. John and St. Thomas, the debris mission is assigned to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- In St. Croix, the VI Department of Public Works is managing debris pickup and the VI Waste
Management Authority is responsible for the temporary debris sites.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Health and Human Services are working on interim structures to be placed on the sites of several medical centers throughout the islands.
o In St. Croix: The Army Corps estimates completion of a temporary facility at the Virgin Islands Department of Health clinic (Charles Harwood site) by May 9, 2018.
o In St. Thomas: The Army Corps estimates completion of a temporary facility at the Schneider Hospital by May 15, 2018.
o In St. John: The Army Corps estimates completion of a temporary facility at the Myrah Keating Health Center by May 15, 2018.
Temporary operating room and intensive care facilities are expected to be shipped from New Jersey later this month. When these facilities are delivered, installed and hooked up to utilities, they will reduce the need to transport serious cases off-island.
- Patients continue to be transported from the USVI when they need emergency medical care not currently available on the islands, and the USVI government continues to coordinate with FEMA and Department of HHS in this effort. When a patient has Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, the USVI government works with the local hospital to arrange for transportation to appropriate medical facilities on the mainland.
- For patients who do not have Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, HHS coordinates with the USVI government, the local hospital and HHS partners in the National Disaster Medical System to move the patient to the continental U.S. For these patients, FEMA pays for the air ambulance transport by reimbursing the hospital or territory through the FEMA Public Assistance Program.
Emergency Prescription Assistance Program
Virgin Islanders who have no prescription coverage and lost medicine due to the disaster may apply to the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) until March 1 for a free 30-day supply of eligible drugs and medical supplies. The program is run by the HHS and funded by FEMA. To apply, call 1-855-793-7470.
Hazardous Household Waste
The EPA is collecting household hazardous waste. Collection sites are at the following locations:
o St. Croix:
Frederiksted at Evelyn Williams Elementary School, 13A Mt. Pleasant
o St. John:
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Last day Feb. 18. Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Last day Feb. 24.
Coral Bay Fire Station
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday only; Last day
Feb. 24. o St. Thomas:
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; Last day Feb. 18. Home Depot at Tutu-Donoe Road
Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday only; Last day Feb. 17. 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. For debris to be collected, it must be sorted into four categories: Whites (appliances), Electronics, Vegetation, and Roofing or Construction Materials.
Disaster Recovery Centers
- Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open across the territory to provide information and help for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria who still have questions about their applicants, need follow-up or to speak with a disaster recovery specialist face-to-face for information. SBA has staff at all DRCs to provide one-on-one assistance with submitting late applications and answering any questions. 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.
- St. John DRC is located in:
Cruz Bay at the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature, St. John Annex, 1D
- St. Croix DRC is located in:
Frederiksted at the Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate LaGrange
- St. Thomas DRC is located in:
Charlotte Amalie at Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 233
- St. John DRC is located in:
- To date, as of Feb. 12, 2018, DRCs have logged 62,561visits