The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated about $100 million in architectural and engineering design funding to the Puerto Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, which is the largest obligation for permanent work so far for damage related to Hurricane María.
“We are proud of the collaboration between FEMA, the Government of Puerto Rico and PREPA on this significant obligation of funds. Architectural and engineering designs will ensure that the billions of dollars planned to repair and rebuild Puerto Rico will make the island stronger and more resilient,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico, Jonathan Hoyes.
Architectural and engineering design helps to reduce the “damage-rebuild-damage” cycle that comes with restoring structures to pre-disaster conditions. They assure quality by meticulously detailing scopes of work to ensure a repaired and rebuilt Puerto Rico is better positioned to withstand another storm.
FEMA continues working alongside the Commonwealth and Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, or COR3, to strategize major recovery projects and formulate architectural and engineering designs. Notable projects include a hardened communication system, repairs to more than 5,000 water facilities and an improved and updated electric grid.
Architectural and engineering costs are funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance program. It reimburses state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for response expenses and repairing or replacing eligible disaster-damaged infrastructure.
To date, the agency has obligated about $5.7 billion for Public Assistance costs in Puerto Rico.