Governor Phil Murphy today announced that he has authorized aid to Puerto Rico to assist in recovery efforts caused by Hurricane Fiona. Two waves, each including 74 New Jersey State Troopers and 1 civilian medical doctor, will travel to the island to support the Puerto Rico Police Bureau. Upon arrival, they will deploy to the town of Vega Baja.
Assistance is provided through the Emergency Management Assistant Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement allowing states and territories to share resources in response to natural and man-made disasters.
In addition, a New Jersey All-Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Puerto Rico as a Supplemental Response Team (SRT) working directly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The 12-member team consists of individuals from several state departments.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Puerto Rico during this devastating time. New Jersey knows all too well the devastating effects hurricanes can bring to communities and we will do what we can to support Puerto Rico in its time of need,” said Governor Murphy. “I want to acknowledge the heads of each department sending folks down to Puerto Rico to assist in this disaster relief mission. We will continue to monitor the situation and send additional support as needed.”
“Before we departed Puerto Rico after NJ-PRIDE (Puerto Rico Integrated Deployment Effort) and NJ-SPEAR (State Police Earthquake Assistance Response), we made a vow to local officials and residents that should they ever need us again, we would be there. Today, we are once again making good on that promise,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The men and women of the New Jersey State Police are well trained and fully prepared to render assistance to those in need far beyond the borders of this state. We are deploying 74 highly-skilled troopers who will immediately integrate into the recovery efforts already in place to aid the resilient residents of Puerto Rico.”
“I salute our New Jersey Troopers who are deploying in the wake of this natural disaster to support the victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “Our Troopers have a proud history of coming to the aid of those impacted by disasters across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, and I applaud Colonel Callahan and our State Police leadership for their training and readiness in the face of this crisis.”
Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sunday, September 18, causing power outages, major flooding, and significant infrastructure damage to the island. A Category 1 storm at the time of landfall, Hurricane Fiona brought heavy winds and rainfall of more than 20 inches to Puerto Rico, tragically killing at least two people. Hundreds of thousands of people remain without power and running water days after the storm. This is the worst hurricane Puerto Rico has seen since 2017 when Hurricane Maria tore through the island, taking 3,000 lives, destroying homes and leaving a crippled infrastructure.