FEMA Representative Larissa Paschyn explains to PNC how Saipan residents can apply for assistance.
Guam – Federal Emergency Management Agency representative Larissa Paschyn tells PNC that there are three main ways for Saipan residents to register for FEMA assistance.
One way is to call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-3362, or they can apply online at “DisasterAssistance.gov or you can use you’re smartphone by going to m.fema.gov. She also gives some tips for residents to help make the process easier. Paschyn says when residents call they should have a bank account number or routing number available if possible. She also encourages residents to have the head of household’s social security number, any insurance information and a working telephone number.
She says that FEMA can mail paper checks, but a bank account is a safer alternative. If residents are mailing paper checks, FEMA is asking residents to provide a description of their house and the closest street address instead of putting down a P.O. box. This is because FEMA’s online system traditionally does not count P.O. boxes because they need the home address to verify the damages to the house. Before delivering the checks FEMA will do a follow up call with the applicant to verify their home address. Lastly, Paschyn advises residents who are looking to go to a disaster relief center for supplies or commodities to call ahead for an appointment, as the American Red Cross will be prioritizing residents who have called ahead. To make an appointment, you can call the Red Cross 670-234-3459.
On a final note, to clear up confusion, Paschyn says that FEMA will be in Saipan for quote, “the long haul” and that it’s never too late to apply for assistance.
“You know after the disaster was declared, people traditionally have 60 days to make that initial phone call or register for assistance, however that can be extended for extraneous circumstances like say if communications were really run down so we can extend that application period, but where were at right now, people have more than ample time to just make that initial phone call so we can see their application and make those inspections but in terms of recovery operations, developing the critical infrastructure and then making sure everyone whose had their applications is verified and then has their inspections, were here for the long haul, until it’s all complete,” said Paschyn