President Joe Biden said that he ordered his government to distribute funds to help with 100% of the recovery of Puerto Rico after the impact of Hurricane Fiona.
“I am announcing today that I have authorized 100 percent… 100 percent federal funding,” Biden said.
The resources will be destined for the removal of rubble, the restoration of energy and water services, as well as shelter and food for victims. Everything would have to be covered in a month, under the coordination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which Deanne Criswell directs.
“There are now hundreds of FEMA and federal staff members, including search and rescue teams, bilingual disaster survivor assistance teams, and power restoration experts,” Trump said at an event at the World Trade Office. Center.
The event was attended by the Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul; the city’s mayor, Eric Adams; Representative Jenniffer González-Colón, and the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, who thanked President Biden for his actions.
The Democratic president highlighted the work of local rescuers.
“I want to especially thank the local first responders. I want to say this again: the local lifeguards. I want to thank you, including the Puerto Rico National Guard, who have been working day and night,” he expressed. “Disasters are traumatic for survivors, but they are also traumatic for first responders. It is real. And experiencing so many disasters over the course of five years, it comes at a cost.”
Biden indicated that in addition to financial resources, “crisis counselors” are also being made available to the population, to care for survivors and first responders.
“So please take advantage of these resources. It’s okay to ask for help,” he said, in addition to recalling the importance to New York of the disaster on the island.
“Maybe New York has the largest Puerto Rican population in the country. And the state, I think, has the second largest, or close to it, if I’m not mistaken,” he said.
Governor Hochul specified that there were more than a million Puerto Ricans in New York.
On Twitter, Governor Hochul said she was “proud” that the federal government is supporting Puerto Rico.
“New York and Puerto Rico share a special connection. As Puerto Rico recovers, New York will be there every step of the way,” she stated.
New York and Puerto Rico share a special bond. As Puerto Rico recovers, New York will be there for them every step of the way. pic.twitter.com/4YL0FtBqn8
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) September 22, 2022
“We are all in this together, I promise you, Governor [Pierluisi],” Biden said.
The president recognized that there is a need to quickly recover public services and ensure supplies, although he affirmed that there has been progress.
“There are still too many homes and businesses without power, without running water,” he acknowledged. “Yesterday, at the Governor’s request, I immediately approved an expedited major disaster declaration to provide individual and public assistance to help people and communities get back on their feet.”
Biden acknowledged that Puerto Rico has not managed to recover from Hurricane Maria, which occurred in 2017, almost on the same date.
“We are with you. We’re not going. We are serious,” said the president. “Let me say God bless the people of Puerto Rico and our troops.”
FEMA reported that it installed supplies in four warehouses strategically located throughout the island that include more than 7 million liters of water, more than 4 million ready meals, more than 215 generators, more than 100,000 tarps, more than 28,000 plastic protectors and more than 10,300 cots and other emergency supplies.
The agency also has a close partnership with the American Red Cross with more than 190 trained volunteers delivering emergency supplies to available shelters.
At the same time, the administrative team of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the temporary emergency power teams are in Puerto Rico, advancing with the recovery of electrical energy.