On Tuesday, Congress Delegate Stacey Plaskett announced that the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) would receive three Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants, amounting to $45.3 million, to support local government agencies in their ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria.
The Virgin Islands Fire Service on St. John, the V.I. Department of Education on St. Croix, and the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections on St. Croix are the three agencies set to benefit from these grants. The funds will be used to replace a building destroyed by Hurricane Maria at the Virgin Islands Fire Service on St. John, which will receive $9,612,345.56. Meanwhile, the V.I. Department of Education and the V.I. Bureau of Corrections will receive $11,344,143.73 and $24,343,392.20 respectively for building repairs and equipment purchases to address damages directly caused by the hurricane.
In a public statement, Plaskett expressed her satisfaction with the grant awards and their potential to bolster the territory’s ongoing resilience and economic growth. She emphasized the importance of preparedness and building resilience against disasters, adding that the FEMA funding would provide the necessary resources for these agencies to rebuild more resiliently.
These FEMA grants are authorized under Section 428 of the Robert T. Stafford Act, which enables the federal agency to offer financial assistance for disaster-related damages to specific public and private non-profit organizations.