THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (New York, New York) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release September 21, 1998
PRESIDENT CLINTON DECLARES AN EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO
The President today declared an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and ordered Federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Georges on September 21, 1998, and continuing.
The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the disaster on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the disaster. Direct Federal assistance will be provided for the first 72 hours at 100 percent Federal funding in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Jose A. Bravo of FEMA's regional office in New York to coordinate Federal response and recovery operations in the affected areas.