SAIPAN – August 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Following Typhoon Soudelor, FEMA called upon the expertise of our federal partners to help support the response. This included mission assigning the Navy and the Marine Corps to help provide relief to the island. The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) was conducting regularly scheduled training in the vicinity of the Mariana Islands when they were redirected to support the relief efforts.
When the USS Ashland and the MEU arrived in Saipan, August 7th, they hit the ground running. The Navy-Marine Corps team quickly assessed the situation and brought to bear a myriad of capabilities including: manpower, transfer of goods and equipment, and distribution of donated humanitarian aid to individual survivors. This included multiple mobile water containers able to transport more than 2,000 gallons of drinking water, generators and equipment to repair and restore power and approximately 10,000 pounds of Red Cross relief goods.
“The Marines provided manpower, equipment and technical expertise for emergency drinking water production, and distribution for typhoon survivors as directed by the CNMI government. Their assistance expedited immediate humanitarian relief. We appreciate the unique capabilities of the Marines” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen M. DeBlasio Sr.
The 31st MEU also provided critical emergency water production and distribution to survivors of Typhoon Soudelor in support of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government. 337,200 gallons of water and 71,136 individual Meals, Ready to Eat, were delivered to distribution sites across the island of Saipan. These sites included Koblerville Fire Station, Garapan Fishing Base, San Roque Fire Station, and Kagman Fire Station.
Debris clearance was another priority of the Marines, and they assisted in debris clearance for Marianas High School, Hopwood Junior High School, Garapan Elementary School, William Reyes Elementary School, Koblerville Elementary School, Koblerville Middle School, and Saipan Southern High School.
The 31st MEU will complete their mission at 6PM on August 22, and following that will return to their home port in Okinawa, Japan. Media queries concerning the 31st MEU’s participation in typhoon relief efforts operations may be directed to Capt. Jennifer Giles, 31st MEU Public Affairs Officer at .
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.