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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Signs Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Disaster Declaration

The President yesterday declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Typhoon Soudelor during the period of August 1-3, 2015.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals on the island of Saipan.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to the commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work as a result of Typhoon Soudelor on the islands of Rota, Saipan, and Tinian.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire commonwealth.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Stephen M. De Blasio Sr. as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing, and additional areas and forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.