Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Nov 2019 12am

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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-2:51:36A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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FEMA official explains application process for public assistance program

FEDERAL Emergency Management Agency’s public assistance program applicants can start the repair projects before the release of FEMA funds, FEMA external affairs officer Veronica Verde said.

“Repairs to make critical infrastructure safe, sanitary or secure doesn’t have to wait for FEMA,” she added.

She said applicants can also “choose to wait until their repair projects are approved and funded before they start repair work.”

Asked about the application process, Verde said: “Initially, FEMA meets with the applicant to discuss infrastructure damage and then FEMA performs site visits to document the damage.”

Once the applicant agrees with the damage description and dimension, then a scope of work will be developed to determine the cost of repairing the damage, she added.

“If the applicant agrees with the cost, FEMA conducts a mandatory technical review for insurance, mitigation, and environmental and historic preservation.”

She said after the review is completed, it is presented to the CNMI for approval and signature.”

Asked about the pending worksheets for school repair projects, Verde said: “As the technical review process continues, there could be other questions and requirements, such as insurance, environmental and historic preservation, and mitigation review.”

Verde earlier said that FEMA will obligate $84 million for school-related projects for the Public School System, Northern Marianas College, and five non-profit private schools.

Typhoon Mangkhut hit Rota on Sept. 10, 2018. On Oct. 25, 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu slammed into Saipan and Tinian, causing catastrophic destruction.

The most powerful tropical cyclone in 2018, Yutu is the strongest typhoon ever recorded to impact the Marianas, and is tied as the second strongest tropical cyclone to strike the U.S. and its territories.