PAGO PAGO, American Samoa –-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides the following update of federal disaster recovery assistance given so far as a result of Cyclone Heta:
- More than 9,100 American Samoa residents and business owners have registered with FEMA to apply for aid. (The deadline to register is tomorrow, March 20.)
- FEMA has issued approximately $11.4 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 $13.6 million for other serious needs directly related to Heta.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved approximately $4.8 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.
DEADLINES: Although tomorrow is the final day to register with FEMA to begin the federal assistance process, applicants who have already been issued an SBA loan application have until April 1 to submit their applications to SBA.
The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium will accept new, initial FEMA registrations only through tomorrow, from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. However, the DRC will remain at the auditorium through next Friday, March 26, for the limited purpose of helping applicants who have already registered.
If you have already registered with FEMA but have questions about your application, please call the local FEMA Helpline at 633-3036. Starting Monday, March 22, the Helpline’s new operating hours will be from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, until further notice.
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.