The Islands of Saipan and Tinian are struggling to recover from the effects of Typhoon Yutu, one of the most powerful weather events recorded in history. Since the storm touched down in late October, we have been in daily contact with our ACS DR Director Max Mays and FEMA lead Michael Kern about the needs on both of these islands. Our discussions have expanded to include the leadership of the Guam Micronesia Mission President Ken Norton.
Deliveries of supplies were sent early in the Recovery efforts to those on the ground. Most of the efforts of FEMA and other governmental entities have been put into providing shelter to the survivors. A limited number of buildings that had not been damaged by the storm were utilized for housing the residents. Tents are also being used on the land of those whose homes have been destroyed. With this primary need taking precedence, ACS is crafting a list of unmet needs we might be able to meet.
One of the areas being considered is setting up some Distribution Sites that would give out items the community is needing such as solar-powered lighting, tarps, and mosquito netting on both Islands. These Efforts will begin in Guam where items will be purchased from Home Depot and other stores, and delivered to the communities. We are also looking to set up a Warehouse in Saipan. Though the conditions on the affected Islands will create some challenges, our ACS DR team is prepared to help and currently sits on Standby awaiting a request of assistance. Since we work in coordination with the local community, our efforts will incorporate appropriate trained teams for the task that lies ahead. We will also be partnering with other NGOs, FEMA, and Military personnel to help in these areas.