If future plans push through, houses in vulnerable communities in the CNMI will have specially-designed “shelters” that can withstand devastating typhoons such as Soudelor.
The “typhoon shelters” will be located near or inside people’s homes, and aside from providing a “safe zone,” will also have built-in water catchment tanks and will ideally have emergency rations.
This is one of the plans that Gov. Eloy S. Inos said he is currently looking into, considering “the consequences of this storm,” referring to Soudelor.
Inos said he will soon have discussions with the Department of Public Works, and other agencies such as the Commonwealth Zoning Board, and Northern Marianas Housing Corp., on the zoning and initial design of these shelters.
“What we can look at is a design for a family of three and a design for a family of five,” Inos said, noting that the shelter should be “nothing fancy” but reliable and can provide safety for the family.
Inos said the shelter can be located in the basement, or can be above ground. One key component is that there should be a 500-gallon water tank that can be filled using a water catchment system.
The governor said the CNMI government can look into the tornado shelters used in the Midwestern states in the mainland.
He said other CNMI agencies such as Commonwealth Development Authority and Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality can also be tapped for this future project.
Inos said he recognizes that concerns such as financing will also have to be taken into consideration.
Another possibility, he said, is if this project can be implemented with assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Inos said he has already asked an audience with the agencies, and that he plans to sit down and meet with them in a week’s time.