WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster assistance for the Northern Mariana Islands has been expanded to include aid for individuals, families and business owners victimized by Super Typhoon Chaba.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said affected residents on the islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian are eligible to apply for the assistance that can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other aid programs. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and businesses losses not fully compensated by insurance.
In addition, Brown said assistance for affected local governments on the islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian was expanded to include federal funding to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities. Funding to pay part of the costs for debris removal and emergency services, including requested emergency work undertaken by the federal government, was initially designated for the islands under President Bush?s major disaster declaration announced earlier today.
Brown said that assistance application procedures for stricken residents and business owners will be announced shortly in the affected areas.
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.