Ninety-seven homes on St. John will be hardened against future storms thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which awarded $7 million to the St. John Community Foundation to retrofit the homes against hurricane-force wind, debris, rain and other related hazards.

FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor was on St. John on Wednesday, when he visited the Mamey Peak home of Mary-Phyllis and Ronald Nogueira, the first of the 97 homes to receive assistance from the grant. The couple, both in their 80s, have been slowly rebuilding their home on their own and with the help of family since the house was nearly completely demolished in 2017’s Hurricane Irma. The Nogueiras are on Social Security and they did not have hurricane insurance on their home.