USVI Recovery Update

Key Messages

  • All eight Disaster Recovery Centers will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day across the territory.
  • FEMA Mitigation Specialists will be in St. Thomas on Dec. 18-23 to provide free advice on techniques to lessen damage to homes, businesses and property in the event of future storms. The specialists will be at the Sea Chest ACE Hardware store at the above dates in Charlotte Amalie from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Throughout the holiday season, federal and territorial officials would like to remind residents to take care of themselves and stay safe. Survivors who are experiencing feelings of shock, difficulty concentrating and problems sleeping are advised to speak with someone about what they’ve been through. Survivors may meet with crisis counselors at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers located throughout the territory. The crisis counselors can make referrals to other local health professionals.
  • More than $355 million in total federal recovery dollars has been disbursed for the
    U.S. Virgin Islands, including more than $40.6 million in individual and household grants to help pay for rental housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses, and more than $198 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
    $117.2 million has been obligated for public assistance grants.IA Summary
Hurricane Irma DR-4335-VIHurricane Maria DR-4340-VITotal*
Valid Registrations15,31521,75137,066
Housing Inspections Assigned12,17517,03029,205
Total Inspections Returned12,04816,82428,872
IHP Approved$19,722,677$20,401,298$40,123,974
IHP Disbursed$20,082,613$20,574,794$40,657,407
Housing Assistance Disbursed$16,289,104$16,568,925$32,858,029
Other Needs Assistance Disbursed$3,793,509$4,005,869$7,799,378

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

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

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.

o 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 homeowner loans: $178.2 million (Irma: $92.4 million; Maria: $85.8 million)
  • Total number of homeowner loans: 2,741 (Irma: 1332; Maria: 1409)
  • Total amount of business loans: $19.7 million (Irma: $13.9 million; Maria: $5.8 million)
  • Total number of business loans: 147 (Irma: 89; Maria: 58)
  • The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to help homeowners and renters as well asbusinesses 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 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: $117,191,734 (Irma: $4,173,996; Maria: $113,017,738)
  • Eligible Applicants: 274 Obligated: 20
  • The deadline for government entities and certain private nonprofit organizations to submit aRequest for Public Assistance (RPA) with VITEMA has been extended to December 29. Power
  • Total restored: 61.2 percent (STX: 54.9 percent; STT: 65.1 percent; STJ: 71.5 percent) Cell coverage:
  • Total coverage: 75.2 percent (STX: 71.1 percent; STT: 84.4 percent; STJ: 50 percent)Debris
  • Total debris removed: 463,220 cubic yards (STX: 354,233; STT: 84,294; STJ: 24,693) ofapproximately 851,000 cubic yards total.
  • FEMA has been authorized to fund 100 percent of the cost for debris cleanup for the firstsix 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 the Home Depot, 1105 Barren Spot, Kingshill

 Hours of operation: Every Saturday in December 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) 7405 Estate Bovoni, 4B-D
  • Bovoni Landfill at Estate Bovoni, Landfill Road
  • Mandahl Transfer Station, Mandal Road, between Yvonne Bowsky Schooland Mahogany Run golf course

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

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

Disaster Survivor Assistance

 DSA teams are wrapping up their mission this week throughout the territory. They have met with 34,667 survivors and conducted 11,022 registrations.

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

 The registration deadline has been extended. U.S. Virgin Island survivors of hurricane Irma and Maria have until January 8, 2018 to register with FEMA for assistance. Eight 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 Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The DRCs have logged a total of 42,378 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;

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 the hurricanes. 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 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 to find information on federal response and recovery activities for the U.S. Virgin Islands.