TOP FEMA OFFICIALS TOUR TERRITORY
Governor asks for immediate assistance getting ice and tarpaulins
to residents, looks to long-term economic recovery
ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to assisting the U.S. Virgin islands with its recovery efforts at a meeting with Governor Kenneth E. Mapp Tuesday on St. Thomas.
“We are going to be here for a long time,” the Administrator said.
FEMA officials toured St. Thomas and St. John Tuesday in an effort to get a clear picture of how the agency can best assist the Territory in both the short and long term.
Governor Mapp thanked FEMA on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands and asked for immediate help in getting ice and large-sized tarpaulins distributed on the ground. Many of the tarps made available are not large enough to secure most roofs.
The Governor said that he would establish a public-private sector task force to work on rebuilding St. Thomas and St. John’s economy. “Once we get our situation stabilized and our people taken care of, we must focus on our economic recovery,” Governor Mapp said.
Administrator Long said that FEMA would be a part of the process. “We want to set you up for success,” he said.
Both Administrator Long and Governor Mapp agreed that the recovery effort should also look at improved building codes and stronger infrastructure to protect structures against the fury of future storms.
“Let’s put together a real plan to make these islands more resilient,” Administrator Long said.
During the meeting, FEMA officials stated that they would soon be on the ground to get the Loan Assistance Program up and running, however the immediate priority is ensuring all Virgin Islanders have food, shelter and medical assistance.