Disaster center reopens; number of registrants climbs to more than 6K


The Disaster Recovery Center at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe was back in operation on Monday after shutting down due to Typhoon Goni, which passed over the CNMI over the weekend.

According to CNMI Joint Information Center coordinator Ivan S. Blanco, the DRC will remain “open for individuals who wish to avail of the services from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, and other agencies.”

Blanco said that FEMA “continues to encourage affected individuals to call their toll-free number or register online as that will expedite the process of providing needed services.”

In its latest update, FEMA said the number of registrants for assistance has reached 6,400 as of Wednesday.

FEMA also said inspectors have begun assessing the homes of applicants who registered with FEMA for damage sustained in Typhoon Soudelor. Applicants on Saipan will continue to be receiving inspection appointment calls in the coming days and weeks.

When a FEMA Housing Inspector visits your home, someone 18 years of age or older who lived in the household prior to the disaster must be present for the scheduled appointment.

The inspector will ask to see photo identification, proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence (structural insurance, tax bill, mortgage payment book/utility bill), insurance documents: home and/or auto (structural insurance/auto declaration sheet), list of household occupants at the time of disaster, and all disaster-related damage to both real and personal property.

Residents who are unable to provide traditional proof of ownership/occupancy may get a signed letter by a local precinct representative to validate the physical location of a home/dwelling (a P.O. Box address is not sufficient).

Survivors can register by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for survivors with hearing disabilities. Online registration is also available 24/7 at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

Meanwhile, FEMA said that government agencies and certain private nonprofit agencies that may be eligible for federal and commonwealth disaster assistance must submit Request for Public Assistance forms to CNMI Homeland Security by Sept. 4.

The Public Assistance Program provides grants to Commonwealth governments and certain private non-profit entities to assist them with the response to and recovery from disasters.

Public Assistance funds are available to eligible applicants as part of the federal disaster declaration of Aug. 5.

According to FEMA, the primary goal of the Public Assistance program is to provide reimbursement for eligible expenses for emergency response as well as the repair and replacement of damaged public facilities.

Under the program, FEMA reimburses successful applicants for 75 percent of their eligible expenses, while the other 25 percent percent is the non-federal share.

Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at joel_pinaroc@saipantribune.com.

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