08 Nov 2018
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
AS of Wednesday, 823 residents were recorded to be housed in one of 13 shelters on Saipan.
According to Nadine Deleon Guerrero, external affairs officer for the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, a portion of that population will be transitioning into the newly opened shelter facilities at Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School and Tanapag Middle School.
“We are doing the move to better serve their needs,” Deleon Guerrero said, referring to the shelterees.
“Power has been restored on the northern part of the island. And that makes a difference to those who require medical equipment to be plugged in — it will also provide them air-conditioning as long as power supply remains uninterrupted,” she added.
She said Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School and Tanapag Middle School have consistent water supply “because the water wells have been energized in that part of the island.”
Shelterees will be transported by the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority to the new shelter facilities in Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School and Tanapag Middle School, she added.
Residents who took shelter at Marianas High School, (the overflow) at the Office on Aging, the Oleai Head Start Center and Dandan Head Start were transported to Gregorio T. Camacho School on Wednesday. All the current shelters that were housing the shelterees prior to the transition with the exception of the Office on Aging will be closed by Thursday evening, Nov. 8.
Displaced residents at Saipan Southern High School, San Vicente Elementary School and Koblerville Elementary School will be transported to TMS on Thursday.
Deleon Guerrero said COTA will provide free transportation to shelterees, every two hours, every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “With the assistance of our partners at COTA, free bussing service to and from the shelters and their homes were made possible. We want to ensure their comfort and that their needs are being met. Until we are able to provide our current shelterees with adequate disaster assistance to get them back on their feet, we felt this was the best solution. With the help of FEMA as well as American Red Cross, MyPros, [Northern Marianas Trades Institute], Salvation Army and other numerous non-profit organizations, three meals will be provided for each shelteree,” she added.
She said the shelterees welcomed the news. “I believe what comforted them was the free transportation back and forth to their homes — to be able to go home, and make sure their belongings are okay before they return to the shelter.”
Deleon Guerrero said based on assessment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, Department of Defense partners, and the CNMI government, totally destroyed and some damaged homes may qualify for a new roof or tent.
“It is on a case-by-case basis. There are guidelines and different classifications we collectively assess which determines each family’s eligibility for available programs,” she added. “Not everybody who signs up for a tent or the roofing program will be eligible. The tenting and roofing programs are for those who need assistance most, and have no other option.”
Deleon Guerrero said once shelterees have settled in, FEMA disaster assistance personnel will help displaced residents apply for individual assistance.
She added, “We are doing as much as we can, as quickly as we can, putting security and everyone’s safety first and foremost.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108732-some-shelterees-to-be-relocated-to-tanapag