FEMA Employees in Puerto Rico Receive Administrator’s Award

Guaynabo, PUERTO RICO – Two teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Puerto Rico Joint Recovery Office (JRO) were honored with the 2023 FEMA Administrator’s Award, one of the highest awards given to agency employees across the United States.

This year, the Puerto Rico Island Wide Benefit-Cost Analysis (IWBCA) team received an award for its work in Climate Resilience, while the office of External Affairs received the Innovation Award. 

“Since FEMA established the Joint Recovery Office in response to recent disasters, we have assembled a team of highly skilled professionals capable of providing novel and effective solutions to the challenges we face on a daily basis. These awards exemplify the commitment and exceptional work of this group of employees,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator José G. Baquero.

The IWBCA team implemented a system to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of hazard mitigation measures in Electric Power Authority (PREPA) projects. The system developed by the IWBCA group contributes to Puerto Rico’s climate resilience by allowing multiple projects to be evaluated simultaneously through a single analysis, including a cost-effectiveness analysis based on future costs.

This system increases the agency’s efficiency because it avoids double counting of benefits, the duplication of programs and it strengthens the system’s resilience to disasters.

Furthermore, the award for Innovation for the office of External Affairs highlighted the communications work performed after the recovery from Hurricane María and the 2020 Earthquakes. Their specialized projects include recovery visits throughout the island, informative videos to share the progress of the communities and an updated webpage that shows not only the progress of the recovery, but also the lessons learned. In addition, the External Affairs team created a historical archive with nearly 200 interviews and testimonials on various phases of the island’s recovery process, which will serve as a valuable tool to assist FEMA operations locally and nationally in future disasters.

The FEMA Administrator’s Award is given to employees who promote efficiency and innovation, abide by the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct, foster pride in public service and excel in their professional field.

For more information about Puerto Rico’s recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339fema.gov/disaster/4473 and recovery.pr. Follow us on our social media at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRicoFacebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.


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