PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- Thirty days after a major disaster declaration in response to the devastating earthquake, tsunami and flooding that struck American Samoa, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners continue to support the American Samoa government (ASG) and its people.
Presidential Disaster Declaration 1859 was approved by President Obama on September 29th at the request of American Samoa Governor Toglioa Tulafono. In partnership with Governor Tulafono, local leadership and voluntary agencies, FEMA continues its coordinated planning for the island’s long-term recovery.
“As we continue to move from the response into the recovery phase of this disaster, the process of rebuilding lives moves into full swing,” said Kenneth R. Tingman, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer. “Our federal partners and the American Samoan government are committed to helping the people and businesses here to do just that.”
Key recovery operations include developing a long-term emergency sheltering strategy, maintaining generators and transformers that have been installed to stabilize the power system, removing debris and hazardous materials, developing a short- and long-term mental health plan and coordinating citizen care services.
Following is a summary of immediate assistance as of Oct. 29:
- Nearly $7 million has been approved for individual assistance
- Over 7,500 visits to the Disaster Recovery Center
- More than 4,600 inspections issued
- Emergency power generation is meeting the immediate requirements of the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA).
The flow of aid has enabled approximately 197 response personnel from the American Samoa Government, voluntary and non-governmental agencies, FEMA and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers(USACE); U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); U.S. Department of Interior (DOI); the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG); the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Social Security Administration and American Red Cross among others to coordinate efforts for both short- and long-term strategies to mitigate the physical and economic damage.
FEMA and the ASG in partnership with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), American Samoa Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (ASVOAD), and the Aid Matrix Foundation as well as private sector direct donations are all providing further support to displaced survivors. For additional information, go to www.americansamoa.gov.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responder to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capabilities to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.