The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated 54 Puerto Rico municipalities eligible for federal disaster aid to help homeowners, renters and businesses recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Jeanne.
Michael Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, made the designations under President Bush’s major disaster declaration issued for the commonwealth on Sept. 17.
The designated municipalities include Aguada, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Añasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Camuy, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cataño, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerío, Corozal, Dorado, Florida, Guayama, Hatillo, Humacao, Isabela, Juana Díaz, Juncos, Lares, Las Piedras, Loíza, Manatí, Maunabo, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Quebradillas, Rincón, Río Grande, Salinas, San Lorenzo, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Villalba and Yabucoa.
Brown said affected residents are eligible to apply for assistance that can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other aid programs.
Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and businesses losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Editor’s note: See more about Jeanne’s destruction in International News.