On September 19 and 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria caused widespread destruction across the
U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Making landfall just two weeks after Hurricane Irma,
Maria—a strong Category 4 storm—significantly damaged local infrastructure and interrupted
the provision of essential and nonessential services. On September 20, 2017, President Donald
Trump signed a major disaster declaration for Hurricane Maria (Federal Emergency
Management Agency [FEMA], 2017) under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and
Emergency Assistance Act (Pub. L. 100-707, 1988). In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and
Maria, FEMA has been working closely with the government of Puerto Rico and its
municipalities; other federal agencies; private-sector entities; and voluntary, faith-based, and
community organizations to stabilize Puerto Rico. Attention is now turning to the
commonwealth’s long-term recovery needs.

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