PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- The presidential disaster declaration for Cyclone Olaf was amended on March 3 to add individual assistance for the Manu'a Islands of American Samoa only.
Residents of the Manua Islands who suffered damages as a result of Cyclone Olaf will be able to apply for aid. Low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and business owners will be available for qualified applicants from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). An SBA loan is the primary source of funds for the long-term repair or rebuilding for disaster damage to private property owned by businesses and individuals. Also, there will be rental assistance for persons whose homes were damaged or destroyed and grants for emergency repairs to damaged homes and essential personal property.
The first step in the process is to come into the Centers and fill out an application. FEMA, SBA and territory employees will be there to assist in filling out the application. Within a week or ten days an inspector will visit the property to confirm the damage. The applicant will be notified by mail or their award. Those who qualify will need to fill out an SBA application for a low-interest loan in order to initiate the assistance process. If the applicant does not qualify for an SBA loan, they will then be placed in the FEMA grant program.
A Disaster Assistance Cenetr (DRC) will be open on Tau Thursday, March 10. It will also be open on Tau on Friday march 11. Starting March 14 the Center will be in Tau on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and in Ofu and Olosega on Tuesday and Thursday. The Centers will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. The DRC will be staffed with territory and federal officials who will be available to provide information and registration assistance to residents.
Federal assistance will be available only for those who suffered damage from Cyclone Olaf. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or qualified aliens are not eligible for federal assistance. If you are NOT one of these categories, but your child is, please bring proof of custodial relationship. Example: custodial papers or income tax return confirming the custodial relationship you have with the child you are applying on behalf of. A child that qualifies under the law, but does not reside with you at the disaster dwelling will not be qualified for disaster assistance.
One person, who must be living in the dwelling, only can apply on behalf of everyone living in the dwelling. The representative for each household must bring a valid government picture I.D, such as a driver's license, passport or medical card, an electric/utility bill and proof of the total annual income of the entire household, as evidenced by pay slips and a tax return. The family representative will be asked to identify their damaged dwelling on a map.