President Donald J. Trump last Sunday declared that an emergency exists in the territory of American Samoa and ordered federal assistance to supplement response efforts in the territory due to the emergency conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Gita beginning on Feb. 7, 2018, and continuing.
Trump’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. This action will help alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the territory of American Samoa.
Specifically, 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, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Brock Long, FEMA administrator, named Benigno Bern Ruiz as the Federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. (PR)