SAIPAN – Individuals affected by Typhoon Soudelor that occurred August 1-3, 2015 are urged to begin cleaning up their homes and personal property as soon as possible. Officials from the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emphasize that it is not necessary to wait for a housing inspection before beginning this process.
Residents need to document their losses thoroughly and take pictures of all the damages so that when FEMA housing inspectors arrive, they can make a quick analysis and take information with them. Residents will also need to keep all of the receipts they acquire while purchasing new living items during their displacement.
"We encourage individuals affected by the disaster to remain cautious and return home only when it is safe to do so," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen M. DeBlasio Sr. "Property owners should document all losses and damages by taking photos first, or making a list, and then begin immediately removing all damaged personal property to help combat mold and other health hazards and move forward in the recovery process."
Before making permanent repairs to your home such as drywall, structural components, electrical systems or plumbing, make sure you get the proper permits from the CNMI Department of Public Works to ensure compliance with local building codes.
For more information on local clean-up instructions and local permit requirements, contact the CNMI at 670-237-8000.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.