Puerto Rico (The United States of America)

USA: Over $16 million in disaster aid approved for Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Federal and Commonwealth recovery officials announced today that more than $16 million in disaster aid has been approved for Puerto Rico residents in the form of grants to cover damages related to severe storms and flooding which occurred September 21 - October 3.

Below is an update of disaster activity through the close of business on Thursday, November 6, 2008.

- 29,030 households and businesses have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

- $16,511,234 in grants has been approved to individuals and households by FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

- 16,000 people have visited 14 Disaster Recovery Centers in Cabo Rojo, Guayama, Humacao, Juncos, Lajas, Maunabo, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco.

- 19,344 residences have been visited by 20 Community Relations teams. These teams go door-to-door encouraging residents to apply for federal disaster assistance and answer questions about the application process.

- 26,067 homes have been inspected to verify for disaster-related damages.

- 5,689 low-interest, long-term loan applications have been issued from the Small Business Administration to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. SBA encourages those who received an application to return it as soon as possible for consideration of assistance.

Residents who have not registered for assistance are encouraged to apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) - use option 2 for Spanish (TTY 800-462-7585) - or by going online at www.FEMA.gov/spanish.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.