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GAO Report Finds Problems in FEMA Response to Hurricane Maria

The Resilience of Puerto Rico
September 21, 2018
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More than half of federal emergency staffers were not qualified for the position they were filling one month after the Commonwealth was slammed by the storm.

The United States Government Accountability Office issued a report that found the government’s response to Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic effects on Puerto Rico was slowed due to shortages in staff and not enough trained personnel.

According to the GAO, more than half (54 percent) of federal emergency staffers were not qualified for the position they were filling one month after the Commonwealth was slammed by the storm. Logistical challenges, including the location of the island, and the loss of communications and power system meant that FEMA had to take over some of the responsibilities that would have been under the direction of local government.

Largest and Longest Single Response to a Natural Disaster

The GAO report called the government’s response in Puerto Rico the largest and longest in FEMA’s history and analyzed the agency’s response to the California wildfire disaster as well as the natural disasters Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

We Fight for the Rights of Property Owners

Unfortunately, many on the island continue to struggle with rebuilding efforts due to insurance providers that unfairly denied, delayed, or unpaid legitimate policyholder hurricane damage claims. We’ve been fighting for the rights of property owners across the island and the mainland for decades, and we can help you get the redress you need to get your life back normal. Contact us today to learn more.


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