Through our Repair and Rebuilding Program from Typhoon Soudelor, we rebuilt stronger homes to protect families from disasters.
It took nearly three years after Typhoon Soudelor to assist the many families on island who were residing in homes damaged by the typhoon.
Through Our Repair and Rebuilding Program (which operated between January 2016 - May 2018), 195 families received either building materials and/or labor to build back stronger. Read below to hear about how our Repair and Rebuild Program started and how rebuilt resiliently on our island.
Need for repair and rebuilding program
There was a well-documented shortage of construction laborers that hampered recovery efforts on Saipan siOrnce Soudelor. Disaster survivors struggled to find contractors to even do an estimates for their repairs and, if they did manage to get a quote, it far exceeded the amount of assistance they received from FEMA for repairs.
Most of our clients were living in substandard housing prior to the storm. Out of our 212 families who received FEMA repair assistance and had remaining unmet needs, 180 (or 84.91%) were at or below the poverty line and did not have additional funds to afford the repairs. Even for those who were eligible for federal assistance, their grant for repairs was based on restoring their pre-disaster living condition, which was unsafe before the storm.
For those who were in adequate housing, the combination of increased costs for building materials and lack of contractors forced many into unsafe living situations. Residents used unlicensed workers without building permits or knowledge of building safety standards. Or they were forced to attempt repairs themselves that were beyond their capabilities, placing themselves at risk in the process.
CARE secured labor to help families rebuild homes
CARE worked tirelessly to secure volunteer laborers from off-island to alleviate some of the challenges with labor shortage and costs. Helped the CNMI Government submit a proposal to FEMA to fund invitational travel.
In September 2016, all the pieces started to fall into place. FEMA started funding the plane tickets for skilled construction workers from Mennonite Disaster Service and World Renew to come to our island and rebuild homes for our families.
With funding from the local government, business, and nonprofit community, CARE could pay for the building materials needed to rebuild homes and make them strong enough to withstand future typhoons.
Starting in April 2017, CARE and its partner agencies knew that the need was too great to rely on partner agencies alone. Because of generous funding from supporters, CARE was able to hire contractors to assist the volunteer laborers. This resulted in assisting a total of 88 families with both volunteer and contractor labor assistance.
conclusion of Soudelor repair and rebuilding program
As of June 2018, volunteer laborers or contractors have repaired or totally rebuilt 88 homes for families affected by Typhoon Soudelor. In total, 738 individuals living in 195 households received assistance in the form of building materials, labor, or other necessities to rebuild their lives.
We pride ourselves on being a network of partners that are committed to a more resilient CNMI.
The CARE network consisted of 65 dedicated partners who cared about our island’s long-term recovery from Soudelor. Our work would not have been possible without our partner's support.
Major Soudelor Rebuilding Partners
Between September 2016 until April 2018, FEMA funded the plane tickets for over 350 volunteers to come and rebuild homes for families affected by the Typhoon. Starting in February 2017, FEMA also started funding the housing to support these volunteers. We thank FEMA for recognizing that our families had not fully recovered from Typhoon Soudelor and that our storm survivors are were in need of additional support.
American Red Cross
CARE worked closely with the American Red Cross Disaster Case Management team to provide long-term recovery to families and individuals impacted by Typhoon Soudelor. Between September 2015 and June 2018, the Northern Mariana Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross hired case managers to work with families who had unmet needs from the typhoon. These case managers worked directly with clients, and they presented their clients' cases to CARE for funding.
Mennonite Disaster Service, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and World Renew
Additional thanks to the nonprofit agencies Mennonite Disaster Services, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and World Renew. Because of the skilled construction volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Services, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and World Renew, we rebuilt stronger, safer, and more secure homes for our families.