Neighbor Helping Neighbor: California Continues to Support Puerto Rico During Recovery Efforts


Nearly one month ago, more than three dozen California disaster specialists boarded flights headed to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their mission: use their experience and expertise to help Puerto Rico after a 6.4 earthquake hit the island causing widespread damage, including dozens of aftershocks.

Team members came from numerous state agencies, with a variety of expertise to lend as Puerto Rico navigates complex issues that follows major earthquakes.   

In the last month, California team members traveled thousands of miles throughout the island in partnership with Puerto Rico state and local partners to assess and strategize structure safety assessments, public assistance, shelter and mass care, individual assistance, housing, and many other recovery issues.

Recovery is often the longest part of a disaster. California has received support from outside agencies when it was needed the most, especially in recent years of destructive disasters and understands the need and importance of mutual aid.

California team members continue the mission in Puerto Rico, doing our part to help our neighbors as they recover.



Latest news from FEMA:

Six Municipalities Approved for Transitional Sheltering Assistance

CAGUAS, Puerto Rico – At the request of the Government of Puerto Rico, FEMA has approved the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program which provides eligible earthquake survivors hotel or motel lodging within Puerto Rico, paid for by FEMA.

Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce, San Germán and Yauco residents may qualify. Applicants with homes that were damaged in the Dec. 28, 2019, earthquakes and continuing aftershocks will be notified of their eligibility by a FEMA representative.

FEMA will identify places for the applicants to stay on the island. Approved applicants will work with specialists from the Transitional Sheltering program to determine the specific lodging to best meet their needs.

The program pays the cost of room and taxes directly to participating hotels and motels. Incidental expenses including laundry, room service, parking, telephone, food, pet-related deposits and transportation are the responsibility of the approved applicant. The initial period for Transitional Sheltering Assistance is 45 days.

To receive Transitional Sheltering Assistance, applicants must live in one of the six designated municipalities and:

  • be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.
  • complete a valid registration with FEMA for disaster assistance.
  • pass identity and occupancy verification.
  • have a FEMA housing assessment that verifies the residence is uninhabitable and requires repair as a result of the disaster.
  • not be insured for the cause of damage or have insufficient coverage to meet temporary housing needs.
  • be willing to relocate while repairs are underway.

For more information on Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery, visit the Government of Puerto Rico, and Facebook:




For the more information and updates:

Latest updates about the response to the Puerto Rico earthquake, visit:


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