The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently approved the CNMI’s requests for additional Typhoon Mawar relief and funding assistance for permanent work for Saipan, Rota, and Tinian. In addition to emergency protective measures, the additional categories of assistance now include permanent work activities that include restoration of roads, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, utilities, parks, and other facilities.
Early last month, Governor Arnold I. Palacios had announced that U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., approved the CNMI’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration which supported emergency protective measures and other direct federal assistance to support the Commonwealth’s disaster response and recovery efforts following Typhoon Mawar.
- The notice of major disaster declaration was amended on July 10, 2023 to specifically include the following:
- – The island of Rota for debris removal and permanent work activities that include restoration of roads, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, utilities, parks, and other facilities. Rota was earlier designated for emergency protective measures in the original disaster declaration, including direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance program.
- – The islands of Saipan and Tinian for emergency protective measures and permanent work activities that include restoration of roads, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, utilities, parks, and other facilities, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
- – All areas within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
“We are thankful for FEMA’s inclusion of other categories of assistance that are available to agencies and organizations on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian,” said Governor Palacios. “The funding assistance helps to assure additional resources are earmarked to help prepare for and recover from future storms.”
The additional assistance also includes hazard mitigation efforts to help the CNMI reduce the risk and potential impact of future storms and other natural disasters.
“The hazard mitigation assistance is especially helpful given the anticipated frequency of storms that have been forecasted by the National Weather Service for our islands,” Governor Palacios added.
FEMA also approved direct federal assistance through the Public Assistance Program, which provides supplemental grants to state, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and certain types of private non-profits so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.
Through the Public Assistance Program, assistance is provided for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and specific facilities of certain PNP organizations. The PA Program also encourages the protection of these damaged facilities from future incidents by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures.
The CNMI Public Assistance office under the CNMI Office of the Governor is responsible for administering this reimbursement grant. Organizations looking to see if they are eligible for this grant are asked to contact the Public Assistance Office at (670) 664-2417 or email email@example.com.