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FEMA Coming To St. Thomas To Teach Builders How To Build More Resistant To Extreme Weather

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it will teach builders how to make the structures they build more resilient to extreme elements over the course of three days on St. Thomas.

· FEMA is offering free training for building professionals about materials and techniques that will improve the resilience of structures. The three-day event will be on St. Thomas, April 16, 17, and 18.

· Federal agencies have provided more than $1 billion to hurricane survivors, businesses and the territory in FEMA grants, disaster loans by the U.S. Small Business Administration and claims payments by the National Flood Insurance Program.

· The Emergency Home Repairs VI program is intended to protect public health and safety, to protect property and to enable hurricane-displaced residents to shelter at home. STEP is for disaster-damaged single-family, owner-occupied residential properties. The program is administered by the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) and funded by FEMA Public Assistance Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program is for disaster-damaged single-family, owner-occupied residential properties. To sign up for the program call 844-813-9191, go online to www.ehrvi.com or visit one of the three Emergency Home Repairs VI Walk-In Centers.

By the Numbers (April 9, 2018)

Total federal funding DR 4335/DR 4340: more than $1 billion

· FEMA Individuals and Households: $77.5 million

o Housing Assistance: $54.3 million

o Other Needs Assistance: $23.2 million

· FEMA Public Assistance: $492.2 million

· U.S. Small Business Administration: $488.3 million

· National Flood Insurance Program: $12.2 million

FEMA Invites Construction Professionals to Free Workshop on Building Back Safer and Stronger

FEMA is offering free training for building professionals about materials and techniques that will

improve structures’ capacity to withstand high winds, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

The three-day event will be on St. Thomas, April 16 -18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The location will be in the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority building which has limited seating—first come, first served. To sign up email fay.hsu@fema.dhs.gov.

Emergency Home Repairs VI (FEMA’s STEP program)

This home repair program is administered by the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA), funded by FEMA Public Assistance Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program. It makes basic repairs intended to protect public health and safety, to protect property and to enable hurricane-displaced residents to shelter at home.

STEP is for disaster-damaged single-family, owner-occupied residential properties. Duplexes and townhomes are considered single-family residential property. To sign up for the program call 844-813-9191, go online to www.ehrvi.com or visit one of the three Emergency Home Repairs VI Walk-In Centers at these locations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday:

· St. John: Cruz Bay at the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature, St. John Annex, 1D

· St. Croix: Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate LaGrange

· St. Thomas: Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 233

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA has five open Disaster Loan Outreach Centers where representatives can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist in completing the SBA application. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

St. Croix

· VIYA Building, 7G & 7H Estate Diamond, Pepper Tree Rd. (lobby), Christiansted

· Rotary Club West, 40 KA-KD Estate La Grange, Frederiksted

St. Thomas

· Tutu Park Mall, 4605 Tutu Park Mall, Suite 223, Anna’s Retreat

· University of the Virgin Islands, in the Small Business Development Center, 8000 Nisky Center, Suite 720, St. Thomas; Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. only

St. John

· Legislature of the Virgin Islands, 1D Estate, Cruz Bay

Emergency Prescription Assistance Program Deadline Extended to May 15

Virgin Islanders who have no prescription insurance coverage and lost medicine or medical supplies due to the hurricanes may be eligible for a free 30-day replacement of certain drugs and medical supplies. To be eligible, the survivor must have a current prescription. Check with your pharmacy to see if it is part of the program. If you have questions regarding access to care under EPAP call 855-793-7470.

Housing Assistance

FEMA has been working with the territory and local property owners to identify temporary housing assistance options to meet the individual needs of survivors.

· Direct Leasing: FEMA leases existing residential properties which are move-in ready to house eligible survivors. FEMA is working with property management companies and property owners to identify available properties. Property owners interested in having FEMA lease their property can email FEMA-USVI-DirectLease@fema.dhs.gov.

· Multi-family Lease and Repair (MLR): MLR authorizes FEMA to repair existing damaged multi-family housing units (e.g., apartments) to provide housing for eligible survivors. FEMA is working with landlords to identify potential properties for this program. Property owners interested in having FEMA lease their property can email FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov.

Disaster Legal Services

· Free disaster-related legal services are still available for disaster survivors through the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. For St. Croix call 340-718-2626 and for St. Thomas and St. John call 340-774-6720.

SBA Loan Activity (April 8, 2018)

· Total amount of disaster loans: $488.3 million

· Homes: $382.5 million

· Businesses: $105.8 million

· The SBA customer service number is 800-659-2955.

Public Assistance (April 6, 2018)

· $492.2 million obligated

· 525 requests for Public Assistance

· 147 projects obligated

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/152170

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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