On August 3, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss ongoing hurricane recovery and preparedness efforts. Secretary Nielsen was joined by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long and General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Commander, United States Northern Command.
While in Puerto Rico, Secretary Nielsen received a briefing regarding ongoing recovery efforts from Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Byrne and met with FEMA employees working at the Joint Field Office. She thanked the group for their continued commitment to the people of Puerto Rico and acknowledged their steadfast efforts to provide resources and support to Puerto Rican municipalities, institutions, and citizens. Secretary Nielsen also received an operational tour of a FEMA call center. Additionally, Secretary Nielsen joined Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and First Lady Beatriz Rosselló at a back-to-school event for students preparing for the new school year. Secretary Nielsen joined Governor Rosselló and the First Lady in distributing backpacks to students, and thanked them for their ongoing partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Secretary Nielsen met with and received a briefing from Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Vogel and FEMA personnel working on ongoing recovery and preparedness efforts. She also met with Acting Governor Valdamier Collens, Stacey Plaskett, Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, and other local officials. Secretary Nielsen joined local officials for a tour of the Arthur A. Richards Junior High School. The school was impacted by Hurricane Maria and is currently undergoing installation of temporary facilities so that students can begin the new school year with full day sessions.