FEMA, other federal agencies support Mawar response


WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Joe Biden granted last Tuesday emergency declarations to both the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Guam ahead of Typhoon Mawar. The declarations authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supplement territorial and local response efforts to help save lives, protect property, public health and safety beginning May 22, 2023 and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all federal disaster relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population and to provide appropriate assistance to save lives and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe for the islands of Agrihan, Alamagan, Pagan, Rota, Saipan and Tinian.

Typhoon Mawar is predicted to impact nearby Guam as a potentially catastrophic Category 4 or 5 storm, with intense, damaging winds up to 160 mph and life-threatening storm surge across the island.

FEMA has more than 50 staff in Guam, with dozens more federal partners on the ground to support incident management, communications, debris removal, engineering, infrastructure, health and medical, environmental response, military support and more, if needed.

With the presidential declaration, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, under the public assistance program, will be provided at 75% federal funding.

Benigno B. Ruiz has been named federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Residents should heed the warnings of local and territorial officials. Have a plan for safely sheltering during the storm, check your disaster supplies and ensure you have adequate food, water, medication and other items. When the storm hits, residents should take shelter in an interior room away from windows, putting as many walls as possible between yourself and the destructive winds.


Actions and safety tips

  • Typhoons bring high winds, flooding and storm surge. Residents should quickly heed safety warnings from local and territorial officials. Tune into local information sources and media for updates.
  • Territorial and local authorities are leading whole community efforts, with FEMA coordinating federal support to help the people, government and communities on Guam in case resources, personnel and teams can assist with lifesaving and life-sustaining activities.
  • If the immediate needs of survivors impacted by the storm supersede local and territorial resources, FEMA can also provide commodities like meals, water, blankets, cots, tents, tarps, baby supplies and more.

FEMA’s distribution center in Guam is also connected to a network of warehouses and logistics capabilities, with another large warehouse in Hawaii. Additional commodities and supplies stand ready, if needed and requested.

Additional preparedness information is available in Ready.gov or download the FEMA App where you can receive weather warnings for up to five different locations nationwide. (PR)

Contributing Author

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.