Dededo, Guam -- Although three months have passed since President Bush approved the initial disaster declaration for Chuuk, recovery efforts continue daily, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials. Individual and Public Assistance totaling more than $10.6 million has been approved to date.
Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Carwile noted, "The people of Chuuk have seen their lives severely affected by Tropical Storm Chata'an. Providing island citizens with the basic necessities to rebuild their lives is our top priority. We are committed to staying on the island for as it takes to complete our mission."
- A total of 8,496 applicants registered for disaster assistance.
- Nearly $6.9 million in FEMA Individual Assistance has been provided
in the form of vouchers that are redeemable for materials and supplies
- More than $1.6 million in U.S. Small Business Administration low
interest loans for residents and businesses have been approved.
- $2 million in Individual & Family Grants have been approved
- $40,000 was approved for a Crisis Counseling grant.
- Nearly $50,000 has been approved for Public Assistance reimbursement
funds for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster
and the permanent restoration of facilities damaged by the storm.
- To-date, 2,999 vouchers have been issued at an average of 250 per
- The voucher distribution center is located in Weno at the State Disaster
- A total of 8,447 home inspections were completed, which included facilities in 115 villages, 16 Lagoon islands plus the Outer Islands of Chuuk.
Although FEMA was the lead agency for Tropical Storm Chata'an recovery efforts, Carwile noted that a large number of other federal agencies were also involved in the process. "Without the help of these agencies and outside organizations, our job would have been much more difficult," Carwile said. "We are indebted to them for their commitment to the people of Chuuk and the overall success of this operation."
Agencies assisting include Department of Transportation, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Health & Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, General Services Administration, and the Department of Defense. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard were also instrumental in recovery efforts. Volunteer agencies taking part in the recovery efforts include The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Mennonite Disaster Service and the Ayuda Foundation. Numerous churches, non-profit and civic organizations also lent their support to the recovery efforts
Voluntary organizations play an important role in coordinating assistance from many agencies. Also at work addressing unmet needs is the newly formed long-term recover committee called The Chuuk Community Relief Alliance (CCRA). A strong partnership is the key to meeting emergency needs of disaster victims, according to Carwile. "No one agency can do it all, but together we can make a difference for people hurt by the effects of Chata'an," he said.
A program to rebuild homes on the Chuuk Lagoon Islands is also in progress in conjunction with the Mennonite Disaster Service. The U.S. Air Force Civil Action Team (CAT) will assist with the program.
The FSM Caroline Voyager completed a tour through the Chuuk Outer Islands on Sept. 28. The en...