SAIPAN UPDATE: FEMA Begins to Offer Assistance


Yesterday, we spoke to Brad Ruszala. Today, we talked to Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan and FEMA rep Larissa Paschyn; this continues our coverage of the relief effort in Saipan.

Guam – Saipan resident Brad Ruszala, who is involved in the recovery effort, shares with PNC one particular experience as he was driving along the road after Typhoon Soudelor barreled over the Island.


“Along the way I just saw one light and outside there was about 8 people sitting underneath a tarp, that was tied up partially to what was left of their house that was just in shambles and a little stump of a tree, so I went over there and hung out with them, got to meet them, chat em up,” said Ruszala. “They were in that house the whole storm, they moved from room to room, to a place that seemed almost kind of stable, and then they had to flee through the window to get into the car, because their house almost totally blew away.”


Now families, much like the one Ruszala met, can apply for FEMA assistance. We spoke with CNMI Congressman Greg Kililli Sablan, who talks about the relief efforts in Saipan.


“FEMA has just issued 2600 assignments to their contractors to go start making assessments for those who have already, for the over 3000 that have called in or applied online,” said Sablan


We also spoke to Federal Emergency Management Agency representative Larissa Paschyn, who says that FEMA has had over 4,000 households in Saipan register for FEMA assistance.

But how long will it take for a household to get FEMA assistance?


Paschyn says every household is different but she did give a basic average based on what is “normal,” She says after an applicant turns in their application, it usually takes 7-10 days for FEMA to verify the application and contact the applicant. FEMA will then try to meet with the applicant within the next 24-48 hours, from there she says it could take one to two weeks for an individual household to receive the assistance. Again, Paschyn says that every case is different and times could vary.