PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides the following update of federal disaster recovery assistance given to date in American Samoa in the wake of Cyclone Heta:
- Nearly 9,000 American Samoa residents and business owners have registered with FEMA to apply for aid. Most who are eligible have already registered, but the deadline to do so is Saturday, March 20, 2004.
- FEMA has issued approximately $10.7 million in temporary disaster housing grants to people whose homes have been severely damaged and to those repairing their primary residences to make them safe, sanitary and functional. The agency has provided more than $13.2 million for other serious needs directly related to Heta.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved approximately $4.2 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and business owners. The loans cover costs for the long-term repair or rebuilding of cyclone-damaged private property owned by individuals and businesses.
Appointments to register for Heta-related assistance can be arranged by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center, located at the Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium. The center is open Monday through Saturday, from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, until further notice.
If you have already registered with FEMA but have questions about your application, please call the local FEMA Helpline at 633-3036.
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.