Deadline to apply for FEMA Public Assistance is this weekend

fili@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The deadline for submission of applications to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Public Assistance is only a few days away and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga says it's important that the private sector — including businesses and non-profit groups — submit their requests on time so they get the needed help following Tropical Storm Gita.

Lemanu, who is also the Governor’s Authorized Representative, revealed that more than 7,000 local residents, impacted by the storm, have already pre-registered for federal disaster assistance, with the Manu’a Islands completed last week.

“We ask for the public’s patience as we work with FEMA and our other federal partners to assist all sectors of our community, affected by Gita,” said Lemanu.

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

Two weeks ago, FEMA and ASG hosted the Public Assistance applicant briefing at the Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium for all government entities, nonprofit groups, churches, and other businesses. The deadline to submit applications for Public Assistance from FEMA is Apr. 1st — which is a Sunday.

In a joint Samoa News/ KSBS-FM interview yesterday, Lemanu issued a verbal reminder of the looming deadline, with applications for Public Assistance being accepted at the ASG Office of Disaster Assistance and Petroleum Management (ODAPM) in Tafuna.

Aside from ASG, Lemanu said it’s “very important that our private sector, including businesses and private schools, as well as non profit groups and churches are reminded of this important deadline” for Public Assistance.

Applicants will be informed at a later time on when they can register for federal disaster assistance at the Disaster Recovery Center, inside the DYWA Pago Pago Youth Center.

“For Public Assistance, the applicant will first register with the US Small Business Administration and then FEMA,” Lemanu explained and noted that the DRC registration for impacted residents starts with FEMA, before SBA.

Lemanu explained that Public Assistance shouldn’t be confused with Individual Assistance — which targets residents.

ASG urges all private sector entities including churches to please submit their applications as soon as possible, before the deadline.

MANU’A PRE-REGISTRATION

Lemanu was accompanied by other ASG officials, who traveled to the Manu’a Islands for Gita pre-registration that was completed last week. The next phase now for Manu’a is registration for federal disaster assistance. The planned designated DRCs in Manu’a at this point are the ASG executive office building (EOB) on Ofu — for Ofu and Olosega islands — and the EOB on Ta’u island as well as a site at the Fitiuta Airport for Ta'u residents.

ASG and FEMA are looking to start DRC registration in Manu’a early next week — probably Monday — with a more specific timeframe to be announced soon.

OVERALL NUMBERS

As of Tuesday this week, more than 7,500 residents have pre-registered so far and about 2,500 have already registered at the DRC, said Lemanu, adding that although the pre-registration period is done for Tutuila, residents who missed the pre-registration dates for their villages can still do so at two locations — local Department of Homeland Security office at Tafuna and in front of the DYWA Pago Pago Youth Center.

Pre-registration for Manu’a will also be allowed for those who missed it last week, as soon as locations for the DRCs on Ofu and Ta’u islands are confirmed.

At this point, some 20 inspectors from FEMA have already started conducting site inspections for homes of residents already registered at the DRC.

“The FEMA inspection is very important,” said Lemanu.

Meanwhile, registration continues at DRC, which is open from 8a.m. to 4p.m. Monday to Saturday. See yesterday’s Samoa News edition for villages up for registration throughout the rest of the week.

Samoa News will not publish tomorrow — Good Friday — but updates will be available on its website: samoanews.com Publication will resume Monday, April 2, 2018.

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