PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- Residents of the village of Tafuna may come into the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), located at the Governor Rex Lee Auditorium in Pago Pago, on Tuesday, January 27 after 9:00 am to make an appointment to register beginning Wednesday.
The center is provided by the American Samoa Government (ASG) and the Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA). The DRC is staffed with territory and federal officials who are available to provide information and registration assistance to residents who may need help in recovering from their damages from Cyclone Heta
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also has representatives in the center to answer any questions and to provide one-on-one assistance in preparing applications for low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and business owners. An SBA loan is the primary source of funds for the long-term repair or rebuilding for disaster damage to private property owned by businesses and individuals.
FEMA assistance will only cover essentials repairs or some lost items, and is only available for those who suffered damage from Cyclone Heta. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or qualified aliens are not eligible for federal grants.
One person will apply on behalf of everyone living in a dwelling. The representative for each household is asked to bring valid picture I.D, such as a drivers license or medical card, a social security number, an electric/utility bill and proof of the total annual income of the entire household, as evidenced by pay slips and a tax return. The family representative will be asked to identify their damaged dwelling on a map. It is essential that victims bring these documents and that only victims from Nu’uuli come to the DRC at this time. The registration will take approximately 45 minutes.
The center is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.
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.