Florida Governor Rick Scott today activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to offer assistance to 3,000 Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria who are going to be airlifted into territory continental.
This measure was made in response to the intention of the Natural Disaster Management Agency (FEMA) to continue with the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program (TSA), which offers “temporary housing” to evacuees who can not return to their homes while the reconstruction progresses.
In this way, a total of 3,000 Puerto Ricans who are currently in shelters on the Caribbean island could request the transfer to Florida and New York.
“Since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Florida has taken every opportunity to help the families affected by this storm and to Puerto Rico in their recovery,” Scott said in a statement last week that he visited the island for the second time. that Mary made land there on September 20.
Scott today urged the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to update the activation status of the SEOC and said that this “will help local, state and federal agencies work together to improve the delivery of resources in the Disaster Aid Centers “located at the international airports of Miami and Orlando.
The SEOC, which rose to level two, will facilitate more planning and support a more efficient and coordinated response “as we respond to the needs of these families,” said the governor of Florida, a state that has hosted more than 140,000 Puerto Ricans. who suffered the effects of Hurricane Maria.
In addition, according to Scott, these families will receive crisis counseling services, educational resources, job placement services, medical assistance and assistance to obtain housing and driving licenses.
For its part, FEMA said in a statement that “it is working to establish agreements with host states, both with Florida and New York, to accept these survivors.”
Mike Byrne, a federal agency official, said in an interview with CBS that this “airlift” operation would be the first of its kind for FEMA, but added that at the moment interest in the plan has been low.
Last week President Donald Trump announced that his Government will assume 90% of the cost of rebuilding the public infrastructure destroyed by Hurricane Maria in September, such as the electricity grid.
Two months after the devastating passage of Hurricane Maria, which left at least 54 dead on the island, 30% of Puerto Rico, which has 3.4 million inhabitants, is without electricity.