USA GOV SUPPORT
FOR PUERTO RICO
SERVICE TO THE
CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
Victoria Wales is an Innovation Specialist with the General Services Administration and member of the USAGov team that supported the efforts to communicate government information and services to survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after the devastating Hurricane Maria. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated USAGov as the official communication lane during the emergency so Victoria helped the USAGov team create pages on USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov specific to Hurricane Maria in both English and Spanish as well as develop content for social media and email.
Victoria volunteered to go to Puerto Rico to aid hurricane survivors. She was detailed with FEMA headquarters supporting their Limited English proficiency efforts and was deployed twice from October 2017 to January 2018. FEMA officials recognized her potential immediately and she was put in charge of the Digital Communications team during her first mission assignment. In a short time she developed a team, built a FEMA Puerto Rico Facebook page with more than 25,000 followers and expanded digital communications to include Twitter, social media monitoring, social listening, responding to all social feedback, and provided consistent and reliable counsel to leadership. In addition, she provided vital information to survivors and came up with innovative ways to deal with the connectivity issues affecting the island of Puerto Rico after the passing of the hurricane.
As a result of this effort, the people of Puerto Rico were able to understand what benefits they could apply for, where to go for assistance, and what resources were available to them, This effort resulted in disseminating information regarding meals, water, power restoration and medical support on a daily basis.
VICTORIA BLITZER WALES
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
MARKETING AND OUTREACH TEAM LEAD