Hurricane Irma and Maria Updates – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Information on this page is current as of 1:30p ET, Oct 23

For the latest on VA’s response and inspiring stories of service to Veterans impacted by the hurricanes, read more on the blog. For those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, click here.

IMPORTANT: Veterans displaced due to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey can go to any VA medical facility for health care. Read More 

VA Medical Centers, Clinics and Other Facilities

Veterans from storm-affected areas who require immediate assistance may contact the Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571.

For the latest updates on operations at specific VA facilities and associated clinics, please visit your facility’s website and the Facebook pages listed below. Information provided on the facility pages may be more current than what is posted here.

VA Health Care facilities

Please visit the websites below for more information.

  • VA Caribbean Healthcare System (website)  –  VA Caribbean Healthcare System (Facebook page)
    • VACHS continue progress towards normal operations. Recovery efforts from the impact of Hurricane Maria are ongoing. Our main goal is to reestablish normal operations at all VA facilities to continue providing health care services to Veterans in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
    • The San Juan VA Medical Center including Outpatient Clinics, Emergency Room and the VA Hospital are fully operational.
    • Outpatient Clinics are open providing services with certain limitations:
      • Arecibo – A Medical Mobile Unit is providing Primary Care services, (scheduled and walk-in) Mon – Fri, from 9am – 1pm. A Vet Center Mobile Unit is also providing services on site.
      • Ceiba – Limited Primary Care services (scheduled and walk-ins). No labs.
      • Comerio – Limited Primary Care services (scheduled and walk-ins). No labs.
      • Guayama – Limited Primary Care services, Mental Health (scheduled and walk-ins). No labs.
      • Mayaguez – Limited Primary Care services, Mental Health, (scheduled and walk-ins). Stat labs only, Limited Dental services. No X-Rays services.
      • Ponce – A medical shelter system and Medical Mobile Units have been placed in the premises of the clinic to provide Primary Care and Mental Health Mondays through Fridays 8:00 am until 3:00 pm.
      • St. Croix – Staff available for general health related inquiries
      • St. Thomas – Fully operational
      • Utuado – Limited Primary Care services (scheduled and walk-ins). No labs.
      • Vieques – Limited Primary Care services (scheduled and walk-ins). No labs.
    • Important information about pharmacy and medications:
      • VA has activated the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan through Heritage Health. Eligible patients with Veterans Health Identification (VHIC) in need of an emergency supply of medications can go to any retail pharmacy open to the public with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle, not older than 6 months and with refills available, to receive a 30 day supply.  This does not include controlled substances.
      • The following link is available during emergency disaster situations to see which pharmacies are open: (Link will take you to a non-VA web-site).
      • Heritage Health’s customer care representatives can be reached at 1-866-265-0124, option 1. The telephone line is open for Veterans Monday through Friday, 8am – 10pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9am. to 6pm.
      • If a Veteran is displaced, has lost his or her medication, and no longer has a written prescription or bottle, they can contact the Health Resources Center at 1-877-752-0650 to speak with a representative. The representative will qualify the request by asking a few questions and provide the Veteran with a prescription number.


  • VA employees who wish to volunteer in an official capacity should contact their facility emergency manager or DEMPS coordinator.
  • Individuals interested in how to donate or offer volunteer services for non-VA positions are asked to go to the website for more information.


Customers can pick up packages and mail at:

  • East End /Tutu Mall for addresses in ZIP Code 00805
  • Havensight for box customers in ZIP Code 00802
  • Charlotte Amalie will provide mail handout service for ZIP Codes 00801, 00803, 00805 and street addresses ending in 00802.

Post Offices in St John and St Croix remain closed. Post Offices in Puerto Rico remain closed.

There will be no retail services, package or mail pick up at any location in 006-009 except for the locations listed above.

USPS is not accepting Priority Mail Express service or shipment of live animals for the following ZIP Codes: 006, 007, 008 and 009. There will be no Priority Mail Express service or shipment of live animals in Puerto Rico due to the hurricane.

The following Islands are closed for retail services, package or mail pickup.

  • St. Croix 008
  • Culebra 00775
  • Vieques 00765
Vet Centers
  • VA Vet Centers –  updated information on Vet Center operating status in the affected region. Due to the anticipated impact of Hurricane Maria:
    • U.S. Virgin Islands
      • St. Croix – Open
      • St. Thomas – Open
    • Puerto Rico
      • Arecibo – Open
      • Ponce – Open
      • San Juan – Open

VA Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan – Irma

VA has activated the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan for Veterans in Hurricane Irma impact areas. Eligible Veterans in the affected areas with a VA ID Card needing emergency supply of medications will be able to go to any retail pharmacy open to the public with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle (not older than 6 months and with refills available) to receive at least a 10 day supply. Note: This does not include controlled substances. Patients must present a valid VA ID Card.

The Heritage Health Customer Care Line is available for VA patients in the affected areas at 1-866-265-0124, option 1. Heritage’s hours of operations for hurricane coverage: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

VA Benefits

VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration has mechanisms to help Veterans receive their benefit payments if their normal mail cannot be delivered:

  • Veterans can sign up for direct deposit on eBenefits.
  • Veterans can call 1-800-827-1000 to sign up for direct deposit.
  • The Direct Express Cardless Benefit Access program is offering beneficiaries who use Direct Express and reside in the affected area the option to obtain cash without their card, up to $1,000.
    • The service is being offered free of charge; however, due to system limitations, a fee will be charged and then refunded to the beneficiary. The beneficiary will be asked to go to a MoneyGram store to retrieve the funds.  If the beneficiary is unable to locate a MoneyGram store in operation in his/her area, the funds will be placed back on the Direct Express card.
    • MoneyGram agents will require ID before releasing funds.  They will accept a passport, driver’s license, military identification card, social security card and/or state identification card.  The beneficiary must also have a MoneyGram reference number (provided by the Direct Express Call Center).
    • Contact the Direct Express Call Center toll-free number, 1-888-741-1115, and offer to transfer the caller.  Callers must choose the “Direct Express Cardless Benefit Access” option on the IVR.

For additional information, download the VA Disaster Assistance brochure (PDF file)

Federal Response

For more on the federal government’s response, visit

Federal Disaster Assistance information