FEMA charters world's largest jet to rush storm aide to Guam, CN - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

FEMA charters world's largest jet to rush storm aide to Guam, CNMI

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 5:20 PM +10:00 Updated:

If you were outside earlier today, you may have spotted some pretty hefty beasts in the sky. Two Ukrainian cargo planes - chartered by Federal Emergency Management Agency - have landed on Guam. They rarely take flight, but have arrived with supplies for Guamanians and our neighbors up north following Typhoon Mangkhut. KUAM News this afternoon got an up-close look at the planes as it unloaded precious cargo.

Typhoon Mangkhut brought the heavy winds and rain, and it also brought in some of the biggest aircraft in the world. It takes six engines to power up one of these million-pound machines. The two Antonov planes, chartered by FEMA, rushed supplies to replenish their warehouse here on Guam as well as to bring supplies to Rota.

Inside: 90,000 liters of water and 140,000 shelf stable meals. That's almost enough to give a meal to every resident on island.

FEMA's David Gervino is just one of one hundred officials who arrived over the weekend in anticipation of Typhoon Mangkhut's hit.

 

While they're here on Guam and the CNMI to help with recovery efforts, Gervino clarifies they're not here to replace safeguards you should've already had in place, like insurance coverage. "Even if a disaster declaration is to be granted - a presidential declaration - and that declaration does include individual assistance, where individuals and families can apply for FEMA assistance, that assistance is really meant to just help people have a safe, habitable, secure place to live," he explained. "It's not meant to make people whole again. It's not meant to replace insurance.

"So if people lost really valuable things, furniture or had a lot of extensive damage, FEMA's assistance is not going to bring it to where it was before."

Turns out, locals weathered the storm fairly well.

"I was so impressed by the people of Guam and by the Government of Guam, by the resiliency, by the preparedness efforts and the way the infrastructure held up to such a strong typhoon," said Gervino. "And the spirit of the people here."

Most of the supplies that arrived Wednesday will be stored at a distribution center co-located with the military. That supply also fully stocked.

Water supply for 2,000 people, meanwhile, will be sent to Rota on Thursday. "It's a testament to the people of Guam and the private sector here in Guam that we're not having to use those. Because what happens if FEMA or the federal government is giving things out, that's not helping the local economy It's a testament to the people of Guam that businesses are open today. That people can go out and buy these things themselves," he shared.

The last time FEMA chartered Antonov planes was last year in Hawaii to respond to Hurricane Lane and for Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria.

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