FEMA-Red Cross teams get warm welcome


Eight-year-old Margrette greets a disaster assessment team outside the Marianas Business Plaza. (Contributed Photo)

As two Federal Emergency Management Agency corps teams made their rounds each morning on Saipan doing damage assessment following Super Typhoon Yutu, they were greeted with a heartwarming reminder that their work really was making a difference

Eight-year-old Margrette was there to thank them with a huge hug.

The 11 FEMA Corps members worked with the American Red Cross for just three days but their impact was much longer lasting.

“Matty and Corey met Margrette on our first day reporting to the service center,” Corp leader Kristina Grayhek said. “She ran up to us all asking if we worked for FEMA and thanking us for everything we were doing on the island and with Red Cross.

“She was actually attending school in the building where the service center is so it became a morning ritual. She really made what we were doing so much more important.”

The two teams, Ocean 50 and Ocean 51, spent three days working in the field with American Red Cross volunteers, completing damage assessment and visiting neighborhoods that had been previously inaccessible. Their efforts have made it easier for clients impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu to seek Red Cross assistance and is vital to beginning client casework.

Super Typhoon Yutu struck the Mariana Islands on Oct. 24 with sustained winds of 174 mph, leaving massive destruction in its wake. On the island of Tinian, 725 homes were destroyed, and more than 1,300 homes were destroyed on Saipan.

More than 170 Red Cross disaster workers are helping to support those affected. Community shelters have provided 27,300 overnight shelter stays. (PR)

Press Release
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