Typhoon Soudelor Update — Week 9

Oct 5, 2015

Recovery continues. As the immediate emergency issues are put largely behind us, attention shifts to some of the longer term problems that we need to cope with.

  • FEMA dates to remember:

    • Monday, October 5: Last day to register for FEMA disaster assistance. Typhoon survivors who have not yet registered can apply for help online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. People with speech or hearing disabilities who use TTY may call 1-800-462-7585.
    • Friday, October 9: Disaster Recovery Center at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe closes.
    • Saturday, October 3 - Sunday, October 4: Free rebuilding advice for survivors. FEMA mitigation outreach teams will be at True Value on Beach Road, Garapan, 10am - 4pm on Saturday, and 9am - 1pm on Sunday.
    • Monday, October 5 - Sunday, October 18: Free rebuilding advice for survivors. FEMA mitigation outreach teams will be at Ace Hardware on Beach Road, Susupe, 10am - 4pm weekdays and Saturdays, and 9am - 1pm on Sundays.
  • Mold—a growing problem. Many people are reporting problems with mold buildup as a result of the high humidity and lack of air conditioning that resulted from the storm. This is a common occurrence after natural disasters with flooding or other forms of water damage. Mold grows on damp surfaces such as wood, tile, fabric, and food. It destroys organic material and can potentially cause mild to severe health problems. It will continue to spread until it is cleaned properly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a step-by-step guide for cleaning away mold. The handbook also provides tips for mold prevention.

  • Water restoration continues. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that 107 wells—up from 95 wells last week—are now pumping 10.5 million gallons daily. This is 79 percent of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation’s production capacity. Intermittent water distribution is now serving more than 99% of the Saipan population.
  • Crisis counseling services now available. Typhoon survivors experiencing emotional distress related to the disaster may obtain crisis counseling through the “Day by Day Together: Inafa’maolek-Tipiyeew” program. Services are free of charge to anyone affected by the disaster, and counselors will visit those in need. The counseling program is funded by FEMA and run by the Northern Marianas government. Call 1-670-323-4060/3 ext. 101, Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 4:30pm (ChST). Additionally, a toll-free, multilingual National Distress Helpline is available to survivors 24 hours a day, year-round at 1-800- 985-5990.

  • $584,000 for typhoon recovery efforts. The Office of Insular Affairs has awarded $584,000 to the Commonwealth government to assist in Typhoon Soudelor recovery efforts. The funding will be used to address needs that are not specifically met by other federal disaster assistance programs.
  • National PrepareAthon! Day reminds communities to be ready. To help you and your family be better prepared for future storms or other emergency situations, your congressional office published these practical Typhoon Readiness tips. More information, including preparedness guides, checklists, and other resources, are available at www.ready.gov. September 30 marked National PrepareAthon! Day, a nationwide campaign that encourages individuals, families, businesses, schools, and other organizations to develop plans to respond to disaster threats that affect their communities.