Official Statement of Antonio Pabón Batlle Chief of Staff to Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced

(July 29, 2020 – Washington, D.C.) – “The Government of Puerto Rico continues to work closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a team during this emergency. The excellent communication and relationship have made it possible to overcome and clarify any concern or doubt shared by FEMA’s Region 2 Director, who it is worth mentioning was on the island as recently as last month.

As a result, for the past two weeks, as hurricane season 2020 continues to progress, we have had the entire FEMA training team collaborating directly with the State Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (NMEAD per its Spanish acronym) and the Department of Public Safety (DSP per its Spanish acronym). It is vital to mention that the main concerns expressed in the communication received from the New York Region are on the merger of NMEAD with the DSP, an agency that was created at the request and requirement of the Fiscal Oversight Board.

Communication between officials of the Puerto Rico Government and the federal government has been constant and aimed at preparing for any emergency. This work has been evidenced by the different telephone conferences between the parties during the pandemic and the face-to-face meetings of the FEMA team and the State Emergency Management Bureau. Additionally, FEMA’s Administrator, Peter Gaynor, called Governor Vázquez Garced yesterday in order to discuss the ongoing emergency and offer any necessary support. Administrator Gaynor made all of his agency resources available to our island and reiterated that during these past 11 months, the confidence of the federal government in the government of Puerto Rico had been restored.

We are confident that the preparation and collaboration demonstrated so far are evident to our people. We will continue working as a team to provide an effective response to this atmospheric phenomenon.”



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