PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- A FEMA Disaster Information Helpline has been established for persons who have been affected by Cyclone Heta and need information on the status of their applications for aid.
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Government of American Samoa are encouraging individuals who have already registered at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and have questions about their registration to call the Helpline. The number is 633-3036 and is in operation Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging people to return to the DRC if they have questions about their application. There is also a helpline for those who have already applied for a loan and have processing questions. The SBA Helpline is: 699-1002.
“Disaster victims who have already applied can learn about the status of their application for housing and the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program by calling the Helpline,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas Costello. “Individuals may quickly learn the status of their registration by calling the Helpline (633-3036) and providing the operator with their registration I.D number.”
“We want to make sure that everyone is taken care of as soon as possible,” said Acting Governor Aitofele Sunia. “The Helplines will assist in the process.”
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.