WASHINGTON – In the wake of Hurricane Maria, life, personal safety, and access to safe shelters for disaster survivors remain a priority of local responders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the entire federal family.
To aid in life sustaining missions, six FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) task forces are deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and are working in tandem with numerous federal partners to rescue and render aid to distressed survivors in the region. Additional FEMA US&R task forces are arriving today to expand operations, as areas become accessible. FEMA US&R task forces currently conducting operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands include Virginia Task Forces 1 and 2, Florida Task Forces 1 and 2, and California Task Forces 6 and 7. Components of New York Task Force 1 and Massachusetts Task Force 1 are on the ground providing logistics support.
Federal partners assisting with Search and Rescue (SAR) missions include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service.
Collectively, these federal agencies have rescued 180 individuals and searched more than 45 structures in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.