New weatherproof tents arrive in American Samoa
Responding to local concerns about current emergency shelters being used following the Sept. 29 earthquake and tsunami, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start delivering tomorrow larger, more durable tents today, Friday Novermber 13, 2009.
Some families have reported the tents are too small, and do not fit well with the current rainy season, which has made them difficult to use. Yesterday, Samoa News received two complaints from families who said the tents could not withstand the heavy rain that started on Monday.
FEMAâ€™s federal coordinating officer Kenneth Tingman told reporters last Friday that the larger tents were coming soon and a team is out in the field to reassess the needs for larger tents and other commodities.
He said FEMA will follow the lead of ASG and put out the tents as soon as possible. The tents, as they start arriving on island, are being inspected along with the sites before delivery gets underway.
FEMA â€œalso wanted to make sure ASG and village leaders are aware of it,â€ he said.
On Tuesday this week, FEMA announced that it is working with ASG to provide more durable tents to individuals currently living in tents until their homes are rebuilt or repaired, with delivery of the new tents to begin tomorrowâ€” Friday.
Also on Tuesday, some 300 tents were already on island and demonstrations and training were carried out at the Department of Public Works compound in Tafuna. In attendance were representatives of local agencies involved with putting together the tents that are to sit on wooden floors, said government officials.
KVZK-TV was also at the compound to videotape the entire demonstration and it was aired so that those waiting for tents would have a better understanding of how the tents are properly set-up.
Also in attendance at the DPW compound were representatives of Amanave, Nua and Seetaga, the first three villages cleared to be delivered the first round of tents after debris in these villages has been cleared.
FEMA and ASG urged those affected to be patient as the joint-efforts continue to ensure that the new tents are distributed as soon as possible.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) federal coordinating officer Kenneth Tingman reiterated that 5 p.m. on Nov. 30 is the last day for local families affected by the events of Sept. 29-Oct. 6 earthquake, tsunami and flooding to register with FEMA and to turn in a completed U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application.
â€œThis is a busy time of year but no one should be too busy to apply for unmet needs,â€ Tingman said. â€œI urge any resident with losses, or suspected damages from this disaster, to consider registering now rather than waiting until the last few remaining days before the application period ends.â€
People who have registered with the American Red Cross or other helping agencies must also register with FEMA to access federal and Territorial assistance.
â€œIndividuals and business owners should submit their applications as quickly as possible to avoid missing the November 30th deadline,â€ said Penney Rimbey, SBAâ€™s Officer in Charge.
Federal and territorial recovery aid include grants for emergency disaster housing and essential repairs, individual and household grants for necessities not covered by insurance or other sources and low-interest loans from the SBA.
Anyone unable to visit the SBA at the Disaster Recovery Center can call (684) 633-0920 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time, Monday through Saturday.http://www.samoanews.com/viewstory.php?storyid=10540&edition=1258020000&newssection=LocalNews