WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for the Northern Mariana Islands to help local governments on the islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian recover from the effects of Typhoon Tingting.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the aid was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush following a review of the agency’s analysis of the commonwealth’s request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from flooding, high surf, high winds and wind-driven rain associated with the storm that occurred over the period of June 27-29.
After the declaration, Brown designated the islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian eligible for federal funding to pay the commonwealth and affected local governments 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and the restoration of damaged public facilities. Funds also will be available on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Brown indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named William Lokey of FEMA to coordinate the federal recovery effort.
Lokey said that procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.
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.