FEMA: Statement on Provision of Commodities in Puerto Rico

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – FEMA and the Government of Puerto Rico are not stopping the provision of commodities in Puerto Rico. FEMA and the Government of Puerto Rico will continue to provide commodities to voluntary organizations and local officials who have a need for resources in their communities.

There was never, and is not now, a decision to stop distributing commodities on the island. As progress continues from response to recovery across Puerto Rico, we will continue to support the needs of survivors.

There are sufficient commodities on the island to support these needs as they are identified. These commodities are stored in various warehouses throughout the island.

There are more than 3,000 federal employees continuing to support the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, including 1,500 local hires who are assisting in their own recovery.

FEMA and Puerto Rico established nine Regional Staging Areas following Hurricane Maria for commodity distribution to the island’s 78 mayors. To date, more than $1.6 billion in food and more than $361 million in water has been provided to survivors.

The situation in Puerto Rico is improved to the extent that most grocery stores are open and accessible, transportation systems are operable, and gasoline stations are operable, as are banks and ATM machines. The commercial supply chain for food and water is re-established and private suppliers are sufficiently available that FEMA provided commodities are no longer needed for emergency operations in all areas of the island.

In December, Representatives of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and FEMA engaged mayors to determine the needs of local officials in their efforts to provide sufficient food and water to their communities. A reduced reliance on FEMA for food and water is a key indicator of recovery progress.

FEMA will continue to support any documented needs and will provide supplies to volunteer agencies and other private non-profit organizations who are working with households in rural, outlying areas to address ongoing disaster related needs as power and water is gradually restored.

FEMA will continue to support the Government of Puerto Rico to meet the needs they identify.

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