FEMA working with GovGuam on post-typhoon reimbursements - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

FEMA working with GovGuam on post-typhoon reimbursements

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Deployed during times of disaster, representatives from FEMA are still on island. They're helping businesses and government agencies get back on their feet after Typhoon Mangkhut, this week officially helping agencies fill out applications for reimbursements.

Still on island, a month after Typhoon Mangkhut, Peter Sessum, spokesperson for FEMA, says he's seen the damage first hand. "What I did see is significant damage that really did warrant the disaster declaration," he proclaimed.

A disaster declaration approved, but only to rebuild public goods, as Sessum added, "This is for public infrastructure, and any agencies that are for the public good, so we're talking about power, water, other infrastructure things like bridges and roads and that kind of stuff. So in cases like power, were they don't have the ability to wait until the work is done, they do the work first and then this will be a reimbursement process."

A reimbursement that includes paying for overtime, says Jenna Blas, Public Information Officer for Guam Homeland Security and office of Civil Defense. So far at least 40 people from a wide range of government agencies, non profits, and qualifying businesses are filling out the application.

But Sessum explains why federal funds weren't approved for individual cases, telling KUAM News, "Saying you (Guam) got this, it's not a reflection on any one family, or any groups of families or any number of people and how much they have suffered, we recognize that, but it was just not so severe that it can't be handled by the government."

GovGuam had resources to weather this storm, although the governor does have the ability to appeal within 30 days, Sessum says that individual assistance is available through other local agencies.

Meantime, reimbursements that were approved may take some time. "There's no hard date set in stone right now, we're still receiving reimbursements from Typhoon Dolphin in 2015 when we received public assistance then, as well as from Typhoon Halong in 2014," he said. "From my experience, this partnership with Guam Homeland security has really set the standard for what I want other people to follow."

You can find more info on qualifying for disaster assistance at fema.gov or call Guam Homeland at 475-9600.

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