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September 3, 2019


Recovery Presses Onward
St. John Community Foundation Awarded $7million HMGP Grant

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) awarded the St. John Community Foundation $7,030,000.00 to retrofit homes on the island of St. John against hurricane-force wind, debris, rain, and other related hazards.

The Long-Term Recovery Groups – Disaster Case Management (DCM) Team selected the homes for the Wind Retrofit Project after conducting community outreach activities throughout St. John. Additionally, DCM worked with FEMA to identify and contact individuals that were provided with individual disaster assistance and reported home damage. Of the 183 homes approved to apply, approximately 125 individuals completed the application process, and upwards of one hundred were chosen.

“This support is an amazing opportunity that will enable us to help St. John residents avoid storm-related hardships, like what was experienced after Irma and Maria, by building back stronger than before,” remarked Celia Kalousek, Executive Director of the St. John Community Foundation. “
The Office of Disaster Recovery (ODR) has partnered with various non-profit partners to collaborate on Recovery solutions. The St. John Residential Wind Retrofit Project will provide for the replacement and retrofit of the chosen structures, bringing them to current building code standards.
ODR Director Williams-Octalien said, “this is one of many opportunities to come. As the recovery moves forward, this award signals progress. Once these homes are fortified, the outcome will be a more resilient community better equipped to face any wind storm.”

The project slated for completion by September 2020 is one of 24 projects in progress through HMGP. A total of $57, 454, 224.00 for the HMGP has been awarded to the USVI to date.

The Office of Disaster Recovery
“Building a Legacy of Resilience”