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FEMA to recruit US volunteers to assist in post-storm home repairs on Guam

Updated: Jul 28, 2023


U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 797th Engineer Vertical Construction Company emplace metal roofing under FEMA’s Rise Up program in the wake of Typhoon Mawar. Photo courtesy of Guam National Guard

By Pacific Island Times News Staff


The Federal Emergency Management Agency will recruit volunteer organizations from the United States to travel to Guam and provide essential repair of homes for disaster survivors from Typhoon Mawar.


Although the program is approved, it is not yet operational.


The project is scheduled to commence operations and begin deploying volunteers by the week of Aug. 14 with the goal of completing as many repairs as possible by Nov. 25.


“GUAM STRONG is short for Guam Urgent Assistance Mobilized to Support Typhoon Repairs on Guam and will be a vital next step to supporting those who were unable to avail of the RISEUP metal roofing repair program, which concluded today,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.


“Our goal is to restore typhoon-affected dwellings to a habitable condition in a cost-effective manner, without duplicating other forms of disaster assistance. GUAM STRONG will provide our residents with basic carpentry, electrical, and plumbing repairs in addition to roofing to ensure essential living spaces are safe and functional.”


Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio added, “The people of Guam are well known for our resiliency, and this resiliency is not only attributed to the support we get from within our community but also the strength we draw from others. Even before Typhoon Mawar’s landfall, FEMA officials and our federal partners were on island and ready to provide aid. We are incredibly grateful for these robust partnerships and for all who have uplifted our people through manpower, resources, and time.”


The driving force of Guam Strong is the skilled volunteers from nonprofit partners, such as members of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, who will arrive on Guam and perform repair work on eligible homes.


FEMA will be responsible for sourcing the tools and necessary building materials for repairs such as utility restoration, rehabilitating functional and accessible living spaces, and necessary debris clearance.


The total projected cost of the Guam Strong initiative is $2 million, with a 75 percent/25 percent cost share. This means the federal government will cover 75 percent of all associated costs, while Guam will pay 25 percent or $500,000.


Guam Strong will seek to utilize donated resources where possible to offset this financial burden, the governor’s office said.


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The governor's office also reminded residents that tomorrow is the last day to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance is July 27, Eastern Standard Time.


FEMA assistance may include grants to help homeowners and renters pay for:

  • Temporary housing for those displaced from their disaster-damaged primary homes.

  • Essential repairs to owner-occupied primary homes including structural components such as foundation, exterior walls and roof, and interior areas such as ceiling and floors.

  • Replacement of personal property including specialized tools for employment, household items, appliances, disability equipment (i.e., wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc.) and vehicle repair or replacement.

  • Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance, including medical, dental, moving and child-care expenses and funeral and transportation expenses.



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