St. John CommUNITY Update – 12/6/17

This update is brought to St. Johnians by Love City Strong (LCS), St. John Community FoundationSt. John Angel NetworkCoral Bay Community CouncilSt John RescueNational Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) (VOAD), Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love CityBloomberg USVI Recovery, and Help.NGO’s Global DIRT.

+ . BOAT DEADLINE HAS PASSED – Dec. 1 was the deadline to notify the Coast Guard of vessel salvage/removal intentions. Call the Vessel Owner Notification Hotline at‪ 340-423-6353‬ or email Over 20 boat owners have arranged to have vessels salvaged and returned to them at no cost!

+  Coral Bay Bizarre Bazaar! Coral Bay Community Council’s annual potluck fundraiser and the meeting will be held in the backyard of Pickles in Paradise in Coral Bay 11a-4p on Sat., Dec. 9 and will feature a swap and trade, Santa’s workshop (children must be accompanied by an adult), vendors, local artists, and more. Volunteers are needed.

+  All Island Holiday Party aka “The Prom”Sun Dog Cafe, St. John VI and the Mongoose Merchants Association are hosting “The Prom” on Sat., Dec. 16 at 9p. Attire is “island fancy” and entertainment includes the VI Strong Band, photo booth, and cash bars. All adults are welcome.

+  Holiday benefit! On Dec. 21 at 6pm LCS is co-sponsoring a benefit with Dog House Pub St. John and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits to raise funds for the BBC Electrical lineman who was injured in an incident on St. John in late October.

+  The St. John CommUNITY Long-Term Recovery Team will hold its next meeting with the St. John Angel Network organizations and other private and public groups at 5p on Thurs., Dec. 28 outside of Sam & Jacks Deli at The Marketplace. Public involvement is encouraged!

+  St. John School of the Arts (SJSA) opened on November 13 with close to 55 students enrolled and 65 classes offered each week. As more families return to St. John, SJSA will be teaching classes and adding those children who want to participate. Please visit for more information and to see the entire class schedule.

+  Prescription assistance! The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) pays for a 30-day supply of prescription medication for disaster survivors. Benefits can be renewed every 30 days as long as the program is active. Uninsured residents can call Express Scripts at 855-793-7470 to learn if their medication or specific durable medical equipment is covered. Enroll by Jan. 31. Post-storm health tips are available at

+  Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are FEMA assistance centers for individuals, renters, homeowners, and business owners. The DRC in Cruz Bay is at the Legislative Annex building and the Coral Bay DRC is in the Community Council building, hours are 8a-5p.

+  Apply for FEMA assistance by Dec. 18! Federal disaster assistance helps with uninsured or underinsured losses. Visit, call 800-621-FEMA, or sign up 8a-5p at the DRC at the Legislative Annex building in Cruz Bay or the DRC at the Community Council in Coral Bay.

Visit FEMA’s Facebook page, FEMA U.S. Virgin Islands, to learn about programs offered.
Don’t give up! If you receive an ineligibility decision from FEMA, you are encouraged to appeal. Applicants may appeal in writing within 60 days from the date the ineligibility letter was received. Guidelines for appeals can be found in the Applicant’s Handbook sent to everyone who registered with FEMA.

At any time, survivors may call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585 to update their application information or get questions answered. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362.

+  Power returns! For the safety of restoration crews, Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (W.A.P.A) will not restore electricity to residences unless generators have been shut off and weather heads are undamaged. Report all electricity issues to the Emergency Call Center 9a-5p daily at (340) 774-1424. Safety first! Do NOT fuel generators while hot or running.

+  Car barge service runs daily departing from the Cruz Bay Moorhead Marine Facility beginning at 6:15a. The last car ferry currently returns from Red Hook at 5p. The passenger ferry service to Red Hook is leaving Cruz Bay every hour on the hour beginning 6a and ending at 7p. The return ferry leaves Red Hook at 6:30a, 7:30a, 8a, and every hour on the hour thereafter with the last departure at 8p.

+  A FREE east-west shuttle is in service. Two safari taxis run concurrently from the Cruz Bay passenger ferry dock and the Coral Bay Fire Station. The shuttle schedule is: 7:30a, 8a, 9a, 10a, 3p, 4p, 5p, and 5:30p. The first and last shuttle trips will be traveling from/to Calabash Boom in Coral Bay.

+  Unemployment insurance is available! The USVI Department of Labor is open 9:30a-1:30p Mon/Wed/Fri at the Legislature Annex building. To receive service, bring your ID and Social Security Card. Check claim unemployment claim status by phone at (340) 713-3410. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is extended through Dec. 29.

+  Clinical & emergency services: MKS has moved to the DeCastro Building in Cruz Bay. Clinical services, support, and supplies are being offered from the DeCastro clinic (where you get your health card). Immunizations and free flu shots are available 10a-1p the first Thursday of each month at the DeCastro Clinic. Signs are posted to notify of any schedule changes.
The Coral Bay Fire Department has been temporarily relocated to Calabash Boom as building repairs are being made. The Fire Department in Coral Bay can be reached at 877-521-0811.  Call (340) 776-9110 for emergencies.

+ . Help is a phone call away! The Disaster Distress Helpline is available at 1-800-985-5990 for immediate crisis counseling. Free disaster-related legal service is available! Call the US Virgin Islands Disaster Legal Hotline at 800-310-7029.

+  Businesses are open with more every day! Chelsea Drug, Cruz Bay Family Practice, St. John Physical Therapy, Canines Cats and Critters, The Animal Care Center, St. John Insurance, Tunick Insurance, St. John Properties, Barefoot Design Group, Estate Lindholm, Unique Island Assets, Pool Guru, St. John Solutions Pest Control, Best Winters Land Surveyors, Computer Express, Connections, Cruz Bay Post Office, Postnet, Big Planet, St. John Hardware, Paradise Lumber, FirstBank, Scotia Bank ATM in Cruz Bay, Merchant Bank, St. John Ice, Starfish Market, Dolphin Market, St. John Market, Pine Peace Market, E-C Service Station, Race Track Station, Caravan Auto, St. John Auto Repair, St. John Car Rental, L&L Jeep Rental, Cool Breeze Car Rental, Slim Man’s Parking, Caribbean Paddle Co., Love City Excursions, Dolphin Water Taxi, Chamber of Commerce, Moses Laundry, Caravan Gallery, Steve Simonson Photo, St. John Printing & Design, Bamboula, Portico, St. John Spice, Friends of the Park Store, Trevor’s Activity Booth, Island Fancy, Just BEach!, St. John Brewers’ Brewtique, SugarBirds, Sun Dog Café, Gecko Gazebo Bar, Ocean Grill, Mongoose Junction, Pink Papaya, Cruz Salon, Papaya Café, Hercules, Chester’s Getaway, Kilroy’s Gaming Center, Sam & Jack’s Deli, Lime Inn, Uncle Joe’s BBQ, Dog House Pub, Cruz Bay Landing, 420 to Center, Extra Virgin, Rhumb Lines, Banana Deck, La Tapa, The Terrace, Island Cork, P & P’s by the Sea, North Shore Deli, The Tap Room, Da Livio, Ronnie’s Pizza, Little Olive, Nella’s Lounge, De’ Coal Pot, Woody’s, Café Roma, Quiet Mon, St. John Scoops, Our Market Smoothies, Skinny Legs, Jolly Dog Trading Co., Wok on the Beach, Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, Pickles, Calabash Market, Pizzabar in Paradise, and Love City Market in Coral Bay are operational.

+  WiFi hotspots in town are near Ronnie’s Pizza, Connections, between the BMV building and the tennis court, and on the 3rd floor of the Marketplace. To prevent slow WiFi speed, please disable automatic app updates. Look for VINGN-FreePublic or DIRT-FreePublic. No passwords are needed.

+ . DPW is removing storm debris from public roads. Move all storm debris within 10 feet of the roadside and sort by debris type. Appliances, electronics, vegetation, and roofing/construction materials must all be separated. If you are not part of an HOA and need help moving debris from a secondary road to a primary road for collection, email Do not obstruct the road with debris. Drop off all electronic and hazardous household waste (TVs, computers, paint, oil, gas, batteries, chemicals, etc.) at the MKS ER entrance 7:30a-4p Mon.-Sat. or at the Coral Bay Fire Station 10a-2p Sunday.

+  Beaches are reopening! The National Park Service (NPS) announced that Cinnamon Bay, Trunk Bay, Hawksnest and Honeymoon beaches are officially open! NPS asks beachgoers to visit only officially reopened National Park beaches while they work to open more. Beaches not yet reopened by NPS may be unsafe due to poor water quality and debris from boats, buildings, and trees. NPS is enforcing beach rules.

+ . Love City Strong has partnered with Surfrider Foundation to independently test beach water quality on St. John. The third round of tests was performed on 17 of St. John’s beaches and continue to find unsafe levels of E. Coli at a number of beaches and marked improvement at many others. High risk and potentially dangerous levels of E. Coli were present at Gibney and Maho Bay beach (parking lot side). Great Cruz, Cruz Bay, Hart, and Reef Bay (at the surf spot) presented a medium risk level. You can view detailed test results at the Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force blog.

+Attention, property owners! If you own a multi-family dwelling that needs repairs and are willing to lease to eligible FEMA hurricane survivors, then you may be interested in the Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program (MLRP), which provides funds to make rental units habitable again and helps displaced residents at the same time. Contact

+  For those abroad wanting to help, monetary donations are encouraged over other offers of assistance. Please do not self-deploy or send unsolicited donated items. Tax-deductible donations may be made to nonprofit organizations supporting St. John’s long-term recovery at An online registry for volunteer opportunities available once needs are assessed and additional persons on island are sustainable is available here.