A large contingent of responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were in place as Hurricane Fiona reached the island.
During an interview on CNN Newsroom with Pamela Brown, Anne Bink, FEMA’s Assistant Administrator for Response and Recovery said the responders on are the ground working “hand and glove” with the Commonwealth and their emergency management structure.
“Our heart goes out to the residents that are again going through another catastrophic event five years later,” Bink said, noting Fiona has hit close to the five-year anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Maria.
Bink said FEMA’s response is dual-focused, including emergency power generation for critical facilities and ensuring a command and control structure is in place for things like search and rescue, and addressing long-term needs as the island moves into recovery.
“The biggest concern is the life and safety of residents,” she said, urging everyone to follow the direction of local officials.
Bink added lessons were learned from Hurricane Maria.
“We were much more prepared,” she said. “We have four warehouses now strategically located throughout the island which includes commodities, exponentially larger supplies than in the past. Ten times the meals and water, three times the emergency generator support and more than that, we’re proactively there and well ahead of any storm hitting to make sure that we are coordinating and all of the planning efforts we undertake during those blue skies days can be brought to bear when the rain falls.”