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UPDATES: Hurricane Maria Relief Efforts for Americans Citizens in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

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Washington, September 27, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) is joining with his fellow Members of Congress in calling for strong action by the White House to do all they can to help the more than 3 million American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria. Families and loved ones of American citizens impacted by Hurricane Maria can find resources and information on recovery efforts below:

Click here to view FEMA’s main page for up-to-date resources and information on the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

How To Find Or Reunite With Loved Ones

Following events like Hurricane Maria, we understand that communications networks are not always operational. As communications are restored, there are numerous options for survivors, friends, and family members to search for loved ones.

Survivors with internet access are encouraged to connect with friends and family members via social media platforms. Additional resources below are suggested for those both outside and inside the impacted areas.

American Red Cross


The American Red Cross Safe and Well website allows individuals to register themselves as safe or search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public, and available in English and Spanish. There are a number of ways to use this service:
  • Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.
  • Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English.
  • To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative who has a serious, pre-existing health or mental health condition, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).
The American Red Cross Emergency App features an “I’m Safe” button that allows users to post a message to their social accounts, letting friends and family know they are out of harm’s way. The app can be downloaded for free in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or by texting ‘GETEMERGENCY’ to 90999.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Anyone who finds a child who may be separated from parents or caregivers, please contact the local police and enter basic information and/or a photo into the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Unaccompanied Minors Registry. If you find an unaccompanied child, please indicate whether the child has a disability or has access and functional needs in the appropriate field in the Unaccompanied Minors Registry. If you do not have access to the internet, please call 1-866-908-9570.

Information for Tourists

Any tourists requiring transport off the islands should contact the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism at (340) 772-0357 or visit www.usviupdate.com/ for additional information.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has set up a hotline at 877-976-2400 for people staying at hotels.

Local Resources

The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration directed those seeking information or assistance to call 202-800-3133 or email maria1@prfaa.pr.gov.

Additional information for the U.S. Virgin Islands is available at the following locations:

VIalert.gov
USVIupdate.com
InformUSVI.com

How To Help

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) members including voluntary, non-profit, and faith-based organizations also are working closely with the affected states and communities to assist by supporting with temporary roofing for disaster survivors.


Many voluntary agencies continue to provide services to disaster survivors, including providing shelter, meals, clean-up supplies, etc. For those who wish to help, go here: http://www.nvoad.org; cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover.

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