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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Disaster recovery centers open in Río Grande, Barranquitas

By John McPhaul

New disaster recovery centers (DRCs) are now open in Barranquitas and Río Grande, authorities announced Wednesday.

The joint DRCs, a collaboration between the municipality, the island government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will help Hurricane Fiona survivors apply to FEMA for assistance, upload the necessary application documents online and receive answers to their questions in person.

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be present at the DRCs to provide information about the program and explain how to apply for low-interest SBA loans for homeowners, businesses, private nonprofits and renters. They will also report on repairs and reconstruction to make homes more resilient to disasters.

Services are available in English and Spanish. If a reasonable accommodation or sign language interpreter is needed to contact FEMA, email or call 1-833-285-7448; press 2 for Spanish.

The Barranquitas and Río Grande DRCs are located in:

Reception and Fine Arts Center

Reception Room

Ramal 152, Ave. José Zayas Green,

Barrio Barrancas

Barranquitas, PR 00794

Handball Court Néstor Milete Echevarría

Carr. 3

Río Grande PR 00745

The DCRs are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A specialist from FEMA’s community risk mitigation education program will be available to help survivors prepare for future incidents.

There are also DRCs in Caguas, Mayagüez, Cayey, Vega Baja and Ponce that are open seven days a week during the same hours.

They are located in:

Fine Arts Center of Caguas

Calle Padial

Corner Calle Ruiz Belvis

Caguas, PR 00725

Bo Colombia Basketball Court

Desengaño Street

Barrio Colombia

Mayagüez, PR 00680

Pedro Montañez Stadium

Carretera Num. 14, Km 69.7

Calle Matías Soto, Barriada San Cristóbal

Cayey, PR 00736

Los Naranjos Community Center

Calle 2

Barrio Cabo Caribe

Vega Baja, PR 00693

Francisco “Frankie” Colón Alers Bird Sports Center

The Final Caobos

Ponce, PR 00716

For a list of the nearest disaster recovery centers, visit:

Assistance can also be requested from FEMA through a smart device, personal computer, or phone. The fastest way to apply is:

Online at

Download the FEMA mobile app. Select “Request Individual Assistance” and press “I am ready to apply”.

By phone at 1-800-621-3362. Press 1 for speaking in English, 2 for Spanish, and 3 for other languages. To use a video relay system (VRS) phone system with subtitles or others, share the phone number with FEMA. Phone lines are available from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.

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