The tents installed under the Temporary Emergency Tent and Roofing Installation Support program are capable of withstanding the tropical storm force winds expected from Typhoon Wutip, but the CNMI government has decided to dismantle them as a precautionary measure.
The CNMI government has released teams to help the public in dismantling the tents that serve as temporary shelters.
According to CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office spokesperson Nadine Deleon Guerrero, although the tents installed under the TETRIS program were built to withstand tropical storm force winds, the CNMI government is taking precautionary measures to protect these tents just in case.
Guerrero said that although these tents don’t necessarily need to be dismantled, the CNMI government is aware that many are still traumatized by Super Typhoon Yutu and are worried for their temporary homes.
Deleon Guerrero said groups from the Saipan Mayor’s Office and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services were deployed since 11am yesterday to help dismantle tents for families who cannot dismantle them on their own.
Deleon Guerrero said that because there are 1,800 tents installed on Saipan and they only have today left to dismantle them, they are asking for the cooperation of tent owners.
Deleon Guerrero said that dismantling groups would be driving around villages but Homeland Security aims to prioritize callers and those who are not able or do not know how to dismantle the tent themselves. Homeland Security is requesting tent owners who really need help to call their hotline.
“The CNMI government has set up a hotline for those needing assistance with securing their tents. Residents may contact 664-9083 to be placed on the schedule. To increase efficiency of security, families living in tents are highly encouraged to disassemble their tents if they are capable of doing so to alleviate DFEMS personnel and dispatched teams to assist those most in need of immediate aid,” she said in a press release.
Deleon Guerrero also said that tent owners are responsible for their personal belongings and dismantling teams will not be held liable for personal property that aren’t secured by the tent owners.
For those whose tents serve as their primary shelters, the Kagman shelter is open and accepting shelterees.
Deleon Guerrero said that in case the Kagman shelter fills up, the Public School System has three facilities on standby that have not been identified yet.
The Commonwealth Transit Authority will be offering transportation to people who need shelter but lack transportation.
“COTA is also available to provide transportation to residents who require assistance in relocating to the nearest shelter. Residents may contact the COTA Dispatch at 664-2690 or 285-2683,” Deleon Guerrero said.