Biden Grants Approval for FEMA Individual Assistance Deadline
President Joe Biden has granted Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s appeal for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The approval ensures that homeowners and renters affected by Typhoon Mawar will receive essential aid such as rental assistance and funds for home repairs, according to a statement from the Joint Information Center.
To kickstart the relief process, FEMA inspectors will conduct thorough assessments of damaged homes, as stated in the release.
Bern Ruiz, FEMA’s Federal Coordination Officer, emphasized that residents who have suffered home damage due to Typhoon Mawar should promptly contact the federal agency to register for assistance. Registration can be completed by calling 1-800-621-3362, visiting disasterassistance.gov, or utilizing the FEMA app, Ruiz added.
In the release, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero expressed gratitude for the collaboration between local and federal partners, while announcing additional relief on the horizon. She stated, “We are appreciative of the work we’ve already accomplished with our territorial and federal partners, and I’m happy to announce that more relief is on the way.” The Governor also reassured the community that Guam will receive all necessary resources for a swift and complete recovery from the aftermath of Typhoon Mawar.
In Governor Leon Guerrero’s request letter to President Biden, dated May 28, she outlined the extent of the damage caused by Typhoon Mawar. According to surveys conducted by village mayors, the aftermath of the typhoon resulted in 602 destroyed homes, 1,030 homes with major damage, 1,387 homes with minor damage, and over 4,700 homes affected.
Governor Leon Guerrero highlighted the unique challenges faced by Guam’s community in her request, stating that they constitute a disproportionately impacted community. The population’s income falls below the national median, and the community comprises diverse islander communities and an indigenous population. Furthermore, the geographic distance from the continental U.S. has exacerbated vulnerabilities, leading to supply challenges and limited human resources. The Governor also noted that Guam is experiencing a net negative housing market, with high demand surpassing the existing supply, and soaring rental rates and home prices making housing unaffordable for many residents. These challenges were further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Mawar, she added.