As part of their mitigation program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is educating the public on how to build or rebuild to reduce the likelihood of damage when the next time disaster will strike.
Until Oct. 4, rebuilding experts will be at True Value in Beach Road, Garapan on weekdays from 10am to 4pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, and Sundays from 9am to 1pm FEMA said more locations will be announced soon.
“We’re here to show them how to rebuild stronger. Nobody can say that another typhoon won’t pass by or whatever, but at least you have better opportunity to save your life and your family if you have something that holds your roof better,” FEMA mitigation’s Melva Guzman said.
She added that not every storm is the same and that the public should prepare for each one of them.
“If you’re going to repair, let’s do it the right way, in a better way, with the right information,” Guzman said.
One of the information that Guzman shared is the use of hurricane straps and brackets to reinforce one’s roof structure. She added that 90 percent of about 20 people she spoke with yesterday don’t know about these materials.
“Many of the homes that have corrugated roof are being built just with nails. We have different brackets here that will show them how to properly attach the roof to the sides and we give them illustrations of what to do,” Guzman said.
The metal straps and brackets are available on Saipan and don’t cost much, according to Guzman.
For windows, not all can afford roll down or accordion shutters but plywood with a certain thickness could be used as protection.
Guzman added that for accordion-type shutters, they should be closed completely during a typhoon.
“You grow up thinking you have to leave them a little open so the wind can come in, but that’s not true. You have to keep them closed to keep the pressure out,” Guzman said.
If you have trees in your yard, your house will be a lot safer if their height are not greater than their length from the house so that if one of them topples, it will not reach your home.
Guzman also said that it’s important to clean the house of mold and mildew as this can cause sickness. A cup and a half of bleach to a gallon of water can be used to treat this problem, she said.
Aside from one-on-one session with experts, FEMA is also giving away booklets and pamphlets on how to rebuild.
FEMA staff of individual assistance will also be present in the sites to help those who cannot go to the Disaster Recovery Center in Susupe.
According to Danny Campbell of the Disaster Survivor Assistance, residents who haven’t registered yet may register at these mitigation locations as well as follow up on the status of their applications.