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President Obama Signs Puerto Rico Emergency Declaration

The President today declared an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local response efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Irene beginning on August 21, 2011, and continuing.

The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 78 municipalities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding. 

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Justo Hernández as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT:  FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@DHS.GOV

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