SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands advise those who sustained damage as a result of Typhoon Chaba to exercise patience when attempting to register for assistance. Teleregistration is still the best and quickest way to register, but because of power problems and 800 number overloading, the wait may be longer than normal.
Until further notice, it is recommended that those who have access to a cell phone use that phone to call to register. Cell phones are accessing the teleregistration numbers of 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) and TTY 1-800-462-7585 quicker and more efficiently than regular telephones. Attempting to register at the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will result in a longer waiting period and less efficient service.
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.