Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that an emergency exists in the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands and ordered Federal assistance to supplement the territory’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a water shortage and health impact from unprecedented sargassum seagrass influx beginning on July 15, 2022, 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 on the island of St. Croix.
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 for a period of 90 days.
Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Patrick Cornbill as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.