Exactly 96 days after Super Typhoon Yutu made landfall on the CNMI, bringing with it up to 200 mph gusts and massive rain, the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter last Monday noted that they have started looking into long-term housing recovery efforts.
ARC-NMI Chapter executive director John Hirsh said in an interview Monday morning that his organization had already started to conduct discussions with federal partners and the local government to get residential structures back up to standard housing conditions as life on Saipan and Tinian slowly returns to normalcy.
“…Things have stabilized in the community. People are getting back into a little more of a routine. They may be living in a tent or still in sub-standard housing conditions, but at least schools have opened and businesses have reopened,” said Hirsh.
“Now we are working very closely with all our federal partners to really try and get some clarity around this path forward on how we are going to provide resilient homes for the community and rebuild bigger, stronger, and better. That is a process that will take another two years to actually complete,” he continued.
He noted that emergency response in general has been starting to “wrap up,” even for other agencies, including the CNMI government.
“Now, all eyes are really focused on the longer-term recovery work,” Hirsh, said, adding that disaster case management programs and other assistance are included.