SAIPAN, MP — Disaster recovery officials urge recipients of federal grants to use the money wisely. Federal officials are cautioning residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands who have received disaster assistance from FEMA to use the money for its intended purpose and to keep disaster spending receipts for three years.
Disaster assistance is to help residents meet basic disaster-related needs and funds are distributed via check or direct deposit. A letter explaining what the payment is to be used for arrives within a day or two of the check or direct deposit payment.
If an applicant spends the payment on anything other than the purpose for which it is directed, he or she may be denied assistance the next time a disaster strikes. In some cases, FEMA will ask that the money be returned.
Applicants sign a declaration and a release certifying that all grant funds will be spent on the expenses for which they are intended. These grant funds are for repairs, temporary housing and other approved essential disaster-related costs.
Applicants should be sure to update their personal contact information, including addresses, phone numbers and bank accounts. If FEMA does not have the correct contact information,
disaster survivors may miss letters or phone calls about their application for assistance or payment status.
FEMA grant funds cannot duplicate payments from other sources. For example, if a grant recipient receives an insurance settlement covering expenses already paid for by FEMA, those duplicated funds must be returned to FEMA.
Saipan survivors who have questions about their grants should contact FEMA for assistance by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Service) or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).