By The Star Staff
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Thursday that it allocated nearly $2 million for the first phase of a $25 million project for police stations, government centers and other facilities that play a vital, and often life-saving, role during a disaster.
The hazard mitigation proposal consists of purchasing and installing generators at 35 police stations and 39 government facilities under the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority.
“With the first phase of this project, which includes the contracting process, identifying the engineering firm that will perform the evaluation, design and other procedures, we take an important step toward communities having more reliable facilities,” said José G. Baquero, FEMA’s federal disaster recovery coordinator. “By having an alternate source of energy, we help address the lack of electricity that greatly affected these places during Hurricane Maria.”
The allocation is being provided through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and will allow facilities such as police stations, courthouses, government centers and emergency response offices that transform schools into shelters during emergencies to provide their services during power outages.
Several police stations in towns such as Aibonito, Humacao, Lajas, Las Marías, Lares, Quebradillas and Santa Isabel are included, as are government centers in Añasco, Ceiba, Hatillo, Jayuya, Loíza, Moca, Sabana Grande, Utuado and Yabucoa, among others.
Public Safety Secretary Alexis Torres said his agency will keep collaborating with FEMA to continue moving hazard mitigation projects forward.
“This time, we will impact 35 police stations with the installation of electrical generators, which will allow us to provide service to residents during electrical service interruptions,” Torres said. “Our commitment, together with the Public Buildings Authority, is to impact as many police stations as possible throughout the island.”