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News Release

USDA Disaster Assistance Hotline for Hurricane Maria-Impacted Producers

Edwin Almodovar, NRCS Caribbean Area Director

NOAA Satellite image of Hurricane Irma approaching the norther Leeward Islands in the Caribbean

On September 6th, Hurricane Irma tore through the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, causing catastrophic destruction. The strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever measured, the Category 5 storm brought 185 mph winds that wreaked havoc and devastation on once idyllic St. John, St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands.

Less than 2 weeks later - September 19th - 20th, Hurricane Maria - another intense Category 5 hurricane - brought cataclysmic destruction and devastation to St. Croix and Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans and Crucians who emptied store shelves and larders in our rush to aid our brothers and sisters in Irma-impacted St. John, St. Thomas and the BVI are now suffering from a severe lack of resources.

Our USDA family in the Caribbean Area was impacted like everyone else, but we are working to help our fellow citizens, farmers, and businesses that have been hard hit by these disasters. We encourage all producers who have been impacted by these hurricanes to call our USDA Disaster Recovery Hotline at 787-303-0341.

Currently, all NRCS Caribbean Area Field Offices are open except for Arecibo and Corozal, so please come in and visit. However, only the Caguas Field Office and the State Office have communications (phone and internet).

Disaster Assistance:

  • Disaster Recovery Hotline for producers impacted by Hurricane Maria: 787-303-0341 / Asistencia para desastres Línea directa para productores afectados por el huracán María: 787-303-0341
  • - the quickest way to register for Federal assistance!
  • Download the FEMA mobile app for shelter information, disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips, in English and in Spanish. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
  • - Get information to be prepared before, during, and after a hurricane.
  • FEMA Debris removal guidelines
  • FEMA Guía para recogido de escombros