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01               Disaster Assistance

02               Coastal Management

03               Zoning Regulations

04               Flood Hazard Protection

05               Energy Efficiency

Title 26 – Chapter 01 – Disaster Assistance


26.0101      Authority.

26.0102      Approval and incorporation.

26.0103      Force and effect.

Appendix A

26.0101       Authority

The rule codified in this chapter is issued under the authority of Section 6 of Article IV of the Revised Constitution of American Samoa and 26.0105(b) and 26.0106(e) A.S.C.A.

History:  Rule 13-79 (Ex. Oxd. 4-1979). eff 19 Dec 79, § 1; repealed and replaced by Rule 4-89, eff  27 June 89, §§ 1,2.

26.0102       Approval and incorporation.

The Territorial Disaster Assistance Plan of 1989, including all annexes, as revised from time to time, prepared and maintained by the office of territory emergency management coordination pursuant to 26.0106(b) A.S.C.A., is approved and incorporated in full by reference herein, and is attached to this chapter as Appendix A.

History: Rule 13-79 (Ex. Ord. 4-1979), eff 19 Dec 79. § 2; repealed and replaced by Rule 4-89, eff 27 June 89 §§ 1,2.

26.0103       Force and effect.

In accordance with 26.0105(b) and 26.0106(e) A.S.C.A., the rule codified in this chapter, and the Territorial Disaster Assistance Plan, as incorporated herein, have the force and effect of law.

History: Rule 13-79 (Ex. Ord. 4-1979), eff 19 Dec 79, § 3:repealed and replaced by Rule 4-89, eff 27 June 89. §§ 1,2.














Organization CHART







Director of Public Works

Director of Medical Services

Director of Port Administration

Director of Education

Director of Agriculture

Director of Public Information

Director of Communications

Director, American Samoa  Power Authority

Airport Manager

Attorney General

Secretary of Samoan Affairs

Manager, National Weather Service

Manager, Radio Samoa WVUV

Manager, Samoa Packing Manager, Star-Kist Co.

Manager, Southwest Marines

Chairman, American Samoa Red Cross Chapter

Commanding Officer, U.S. Army Reserve

TABLE OF CONTENTS                        PAGE

Letter of Promulgation                                      26-9

I.                 OBJECTIVE                                              26-10

II.                POTENTIAL TYPES OF DISASTERS OR EMERGENCIES                          26-10

III.              CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS                                                                                26-10

IV.               ORGANIZATION AND ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES                              26-13

A.                Territorial                                     26-13

1.                Organization                                             26-13

.                  Governor                                      26-13

.                  Emergency Management Committee                                                                       26-13

2.                Responsibilities                             26-13

1.                Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office                               26-13

2.                Police Bureau/Department of Public Safety                                                 26-14

3.                Fire Bureau/Department of Public Safety                                                    26-14

4.                Harbor Patrol/Department of Public Safety                                                 26-14

5.                Department of Health & Medical Services                                                   26-14

6.                Department of Public Works                       26-14

7.                Department of Education               26-14

8.                Department of Port Administration                                                             26-14

9.                Department of Agriculture             26-15

10.              Department of Legal Affairs                       26-15

11.              Department of Administrative Services        26-15

12.              Office of Samoan Affairs                26-15

13.              Office of Public Information                       26-15

14.              Office of Procurement                                26-15

15.              Office of Marine & Wildlife Resources                                                                    26-15

16.              Office of Communications              26-15

17.              Office of Human Resources                        26-15

18.              Airport Administration                               26-16

19.              Motor Pool                                                26-16

20.              American Samoa Power Authority                                                              26-16

B.                Local                                                         26-16

C.                Federal                                         26-16

1.                Federal Emergency Management Agency                                                    26-16

2.                United States Coast Guard             26-17

3.                United States Army Reserve                        26-17

4.                Weather Service (NOAA)                26-17

D.                Private Relief Organizations                      26-17  

I.                 American National Red Cross                    26-17

2.                Churches                                       26-17

3.                Aiga System                                               26-18

4.                Local industry                                           26-18

V.                AUTHORITY                                             26-18

VI.               EXECUTION                                             26-l8

VII.             DIRECTION AND CONTROL                    26-20


IX.               DEFINITIONS                                           26-20


American Samoa Government

Pago Pago, American Samoa 98799

Peter T. Coleman, Governor

Galea’i, P. Poumele, Lt. Governor           

April 18, 1989



To :                  Distribution List

From    :           Acting Governor of American Samoa

Subject:            Disaster Assistance Plan


The American Samoa Government recognizes its responsibility to mitigate the effects of natural or man-caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or imperil to the lives and property of the people of the Territory.

The Disaster Assistance Plan is published to insure that preparation is adequate for times of emergency. This Plan will assist and will provide for assignment of duties to Departments arid Agencies of the American Samoa Government.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 16-1985, the Commissioner of Public Safety has been directed to coordinate all efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, other Federal Agencies and neighboring governments in times of disaster.

The Department of Public Safety will provide guidance and assistance to all

Government departments and agencies especially elements of local government (District. Counties and Villages) in their preparation of operating procedures essential to carrying out this Plan in the event of disaster or emergency situations.

Any recommendation that can enhance the effectiveness of this Plan is most welcome and should be forwarded to the Commissioner of Public Safety. This Plan will be reviewed and updated annually.

Galea’i P. Poumele


The purpose of this plan is to provide a comprehensive emergency management program for the American Samoa Government which will insure an adequate level of disaster preparedness, an effective response and recovery from disasters or emergencies whether natural or man-made which threaten or damage public facilities and likely to or actually result in losses or hardships to individuals. Specifically this plan includes, but is not limited to, the establishment of organization and assignment of responsibilities necessary to carry out the objective.


The Islands of American Samoa are subject at all times of the year to the effects of natural or man-made disaster. These include hurricanes, floods, waterspouts, windstorms, landslides, mudflows, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, highsurf, volcanic eruptions, explosions, fire, civil disturbance, nuclear attack, sabotage or any other catastrophe which causes or may cause substantial damage or injury to property or Persons. Three of the recent disaster situations involved a mudslide in 1979, a hurricane in 1981 and hurricane in 1987. Pursuant to the American Samoa Government P.L. 15-105 Territorial Disaster Assistance Act, as amended by P.L. 18-6, and the American Samoa Government Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, the Executive Order 4-1979 requires the establishment and maintenance of an emergency management plan and standing operating procedures (SOPs). Some of these disaster or emergency situations may occur after execution of warning and other preparedness measures, but others may occur with little or no warning. The Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO) staff are aware of the possible occurrence of an emergency or major disaster and their responsibilities in the execution of this plan and will fulfill these responsibilities as needed. The proper execution of this plan will reduce or prevent the loss of lives and damage to property. Depending upon the severity and magnitude of the disaster or emergency situation, the American Samoa Government may be able to cope effectively with the situation, but it may be necessary to request assistance available through volunteer organizations, private enterprises, mutual aid agreements and federal sources.


A.    General

1.    It is the responsibility of each ASG Department Agency to provide for written Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) that meet the emergency needs of their unit as well as those requirement of this plan.

2.    The Commissioner of Public Safety as the Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) will coordinate all local activities relative to the execution of this plan. He will activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). He will insure rapid dissemination of warning information and keep the Governor advised at all times. As the situation escalates, a recommendation to invoke the provisions of this plan will be made to the Governor. When such a decision has been made, the American Samoa Government will commit those resources which the situation demands. At such time as all available resources have been committed and if still more assistance is needed beyond ASG capabilities, the Governor may determine that a state of emergency exists. Subsequent to this action, TEMCO will coordinate requests to the proper federal agencies, including a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a Presidential declaration of an emergency or major disaster to allow supplemental federal financial and technical assistance to be provided. The American Samoa Government   Damage Assessment  Team will normally perform a preliminary damage assessment of public and private property damages to serve as a basis for the Governor’s request for Presidential Disaster or Emergency declaration. Whenever possible, a joint Federal-State preliminary damage assessment will be arrived to verify the estimates of public and private property damages supporting the Governor’s request and to identify those damages which would be eligible for Federal assistance under authority of the various Federal agencies.

       Preliminary damage assessments must be accomplished expenditiously. When applicable the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX Director or the appointed Federal Coordinating Officer (ECO) may assign other federal agencies the responsibility of developing estimates of eligible work by category of damage appropriate to the agencies’ activities. The Governor’s request for a disaster or emergency declaration will be addressed to the President through the Region IX Director. The request should describe the events which let to the initiation of the request, action taken by the Territory and’ evidence to indicate that the disaster is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant supplementary Federal Assistance. Normally assistance in formulating the request will be obtained from the Regional Director.

       When the President determines that a disaster is of such severity and magnitude to warrant the disaster assistance by the Federal Government to supplement the efforts and available resources of the territorial government, he will respond to the Governor’s request authorizing Federal relief and recovery assistance in the affected area. The President’s Disaster declaration triggers the authority of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-288) as amended, and the separate disaster relief authority of other Federal agencies. The President’s declaration specifies that FEMA will coordinate the Federal disaster assistance efforts and advise the Governor of the designation of the Federal Coordinating Officer (ECO). The FEMA Director will appoint the ECO, who will report to the FEMA Associate Director, State and Local Programs and Support. When the ECO is other than the Regional Director, the ECO will keep the Regional Director informed of the ongoing disaster response activities.

       A Federal-State Disaster Assistance Agreement is then prepared and authenticated by the Governor and the FEMA Region IX Director. The agreement governs the expenditure of Federal funds and normally specifies the incidence period of the disaster. Establishment of areas eligible for assistance and other administrative controls, are also included. The Governor in this agreement, names the American Samoa Government Officials authorized to execute certification and otherwise act on behalf of the territory.

       The ECO acts as the President’s representative in the disaster area for the execution of the Federal disaster assistance program. The ECO is charged with the responsibility to coordinate the administration of all relief activities including Federal, State, or central and local governments as well as cooperating volunteer agencies such as American Red Cross, etc. The FEMA Region IX Director is responsible for all disaster relief operations authorized under P.L. 93-288, as amended. Frequently, the Regional Director will also be the ECO. He is responsible for:

a.    Making an initial appraisal of the types of relief most urgently needed.

b.    Bringing together all Federal Disaster assistance programs and coordinating and supervising their activities.

c.    Establishing field offices at the disaster scene, including the required representation by Federal agency personnel.

d.    Coordinating the efforts of private relief  organizations, such as the Red Cross, which agrees to operate under his supervision.

e.    Taking any other appropriate action to help local citizens and public officials obtain the assistance to which they are entitled.

       The Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) is the Official designated  by Governor, to coordinate and supervise the territorial emergency management program in cooperation with the FCO. He also deploys and directs the local government agencies and volunteer relief organizations to respond to the emergency conditions in addition, the EMC is responsible for alerting emergency response agencies of the Federal Government, such as the U.S. Coast Guard.

       In conjunction with the FCO and his staff, the EMC conducts briefings and conferences to orient state agencies and local government to the Federal emergency management program. He also evaluates, recommends and relays local government and agency requests for assistance o the FCO. The territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO) prepares project applications for Federal assistance and forwards these to the  FCO for review and approval.

       After the President has declared a major disaster, the FCO, in cooperation with the EMC, will normally establish a temporary disaster field office at a central location. Other available facilities including ASG administration buildings may be utilized if the situation necessitates. The function of this office is to facilitate on the scene coordination and is under the supervision of the FCO and is staffed with representatives of FEMA Region IX and other Federal agencies having disaster assistance responsibilities in the stricken area in addition to ensuring that effective individual assistance is provided, field office personnel are responsible for advising. American Samoa Government officials on public project eligibility and helping them process project applications, including the completion of prompt and accurate Damage Safety Reports. The EMC, along with the FCO, will establish a Disaster Assistance Center(s) in the area to provide information on the assistance available, and allow families to make application to appropriate disaster assistance programs. The location of the Disaster Assistance Center and the determination of the need of a mobile center will be made by EMC and FCO. The center will be staffed by Federal and American Samoa Government representatives as well as representatives of the Red Cross and other private agencies. The function of the Center is to provide information and to coordinate relief to individuals at the local level.

B.    Phases of Emergency Management

Since this comprehensive plan is concerned with all types of hazards to which American Samoa is exposed before, during, and after an occurrence, four phases of management are considered as follows:

1.     Mitigation

       Mitigation activities are those that eliminate or reduce the  probability of a disaster occurrence. Also are those  long-term activities that lessen the undesirable effects of unavoidable hazards. Some examples include establishment of building codes, flood plain management, insurance, elevating buildings, and public education programs.

2.    Preparedness

       Preparedness activities serve to develop the response capabilities needed in the event of an emergency. Planning, exercising, training, and developing public information programs and warning systems are among the activities conducted under this phase.

3.    Response

       During the response phase, emergency services during a crisis are provided. These activities help reduce casualties and damage and to speed recovery. Response activities include warning,  evacuation, rescue, and other similar operations addressed in this plan.

4.    Recovery

       Recovery includes both short-term and long-term activities. Short-term operations seek to restore critical services to the community and provide for the basic needs of the public. Long-term recovery focuses on restoring the community to its normal or improved state of affairs. The recovery period is also an opportune time to institute mitigation measures, particularly those related to the recent emergency. Examples of recovery actions would be temporary housing and food, restoration of non-vital government services, and reconstruction of damaged areas.


A.    Territorial

All appropriate departments and/or agencies of the American Samoa Government have responsibilities for, and authority over the effective disposition of their own resources and manpower. This may include the utilization of all public employees, if necessary, depending upon the threat or occurrence of a disaster situation. Each department and/or agency is responsible for developing and maintaining its own Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) for carrying out its disaster responsibilities outlined below and to insure protection of assigned resources (buildings, office equipment, etc.) to the greatest possible. In addition to normal functions, specific primary and support functions of each department and/or agency during a disaster or emergency situations are listed as follows:

1.    Organization

a.     The Governor of American Samoa has the ultimate responsibility for direction and control over territorial activities related to emergencies and disasters.

       Upon delegation of authority by the Governor, the Commissioner of Public Safety acts on behalf of the Governor in coordinating and executing Territorial activities to cope effectively with the situation.

b.    Emergency Management Committee

       Members of the Emergency Management Committee are selected key Departmental Heads and representatives from the private sector. The Commissioner of Public Safety as the Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) is the Chairman of the Committee.  Meetings will be at the call of the EMC and will be held at least semiannual.

       The Committee will:

1)    Review the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan annually for continuity appropriate recommendations for improvement.

2)    Maintain liaison with Federal counterparts during disaster operations and insure that interdepartmental procedures have been established for expedient action involving Federal assistance.

2.    Responsibilities

       The organization for disaster or emergency assistance operation is established around those departments and offices with responsibilities for specific emergency response functions.

1.    Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO)

a.    Establish and maintain an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC will be activated in times of emergency or disaster situations by the Commissioner of Public Safety. The Commissioner of Public Safety will preempt the use of all facilities as necessary to carry out disaster assistance coordination.

b.    Establish policy decision for comprehensive emergency management.

c.    Review and maintain plans for comprehensive emergency management.

d.    Coordinate all ASG disaster relief activities to include communications, operations, reports, and public information.  

e.    Advise the Governor and ASG Departments and Agencies assigned primary responsibilities as to the threat of emergency or disaster, nature and impact of actual disaster conditions, and recommend action as to Federal assistance.

f.     Maintain liaison with the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) and other Federal agencies, industry or private relief organizations having capability to provide assistance in disaster relief operations.         

g.    Review all ASG Department and Agencies SOPs for adequacy in meeting task as well as statutory responsibilities.

h.    Do other things necessary, incidental, or appropriate for the implementation of this plan.

2.     Police Bureau/Department of Public Safety.

a.    Sound alarm with police cars sirens and public address system.

b.    Provide traffic and crowd control during acuation, rescue and relief operations.

c.    Protect inmates of the jail while maintaining them in custody.

d.    Protect damaged areas and limit access in order to prevent looting.

e.    Maintain contact with EOC and organize teams for possible search and rescue and keep these teams on alert during emergency and disaster situations.

3.     Fire Bureau/Department of Public Safety

a.    Sound alert signal by activating siren upon notification of emergency or disaster conditions.

b.    Extinguish fires and/or establish fire watch.

c.    Assist in rescue and recovery of casualties.

d.    Organize and enforce fire prevention measures to reduce vulnerability buildings and areas to fire.

4.     Harbor Patrol/Department of Port Administration

a.    Sound alarm with police boats sirens and public address system.

b.    Assist in fire emergencies operations on water and dock areas.

5.     Department of Health & Medical Services

a.    Establish emergency medical care immunization and treatment stations. 

b.    Identify and provide emergency interment of the dead.

c.    Provide inspection and analysis of water, supply, sewage disposal and damaged food-stocks.

d.    Man the disaster Assistance Center(s).

e.    Provide mental health service.

6.     Department of Public Works

a.    Restore and maintain utilities and services except electricity and communications.

b.    Accomplish Damage Assessment.

c.    Repair roads and bridges for minimum safe use.

d.    Maintain debris and garbage disposal operations.

e.    Support repair of airport facilities in coordination with the Airport Administration, as necessary, for safe operation. f. Provide temporary housing.

7.     Department of Education

a.    Take necessary action to insure safety of students and teachers.

b.    Coordinate with the American Red Cross to:

(1)   Provide mass shelter in available school facilities when required.

(2)   Provide emergency feeding in schools when necessary.

(3)   Provide emergency transportation by school buses as directed.

8.     Department of Port Administration

a.    Notify all canneries, agents, owners, and operators of vessels in port, or due to arrive, of any warning received.

b.    Secure all cargo from warehouse transit shed and outside storage areas to prevent damage or loss from wind, rain, high water or other devastation.

c.    Provide available vessels for evacuation or transportation of disaster victims, or as needed for damage assessment teams, supply of emergency food, etc.

d.    Provide sea search/rescue operations and maintain control of safe movements of vessels at times of emergency operations.

e.    Assist in transportation of disaster victims and emergency supplies.

9.     Department of Agriculture

a.    Secure all facilities, livestock and equipment.

b.    Advise the Governor on availability of food.

c.    Make assessment of damages to crops, livestock and livestock facilities and to assess assistance needed to put the land back to production.

d.    Monitor status of food resources.

e.    Man the Disaster Assistance Center(s).

10.   Department of Legal Affairs

a.    Provide necessary disaster legislation.

b.    Provide legal counsel to EMC.

c.    Provide legal counsel to disaster victims at Disaster Assistance Center(s).

11.   Department of Administrative Services

a.    Provide necessary comptroller  services

b.    Provide clerical and secretarial assistance in the application of disaster assistance.

c.    Man the Disaster Assistance Center(s).

12.   Office of Samoan Affairs

a.    Assemble the initial damage reports received from the village pulenu’u and relay to the EOC.

b.    Assist the American Red Cross in coordination of private and church group volunteer services.

c.    Arrange facilities for the Disaster Assistance Center(s).

d.    Man the Disaster Assistance Center(s).

13.   Office of Public Information

a.    Insure that warning information has been relayed to the general public.

b.    Approve and control all announcements to be made by television.

c.    Insure that photographic documentation is accomplished in a timely manner.

d.    Provide appropriate press releases for approval and dissemination by the Office of the Governor. Following a Federal declaration of an Emergency or Disaster, all public information releases will be coordinated with the ECO.

e.    Relay information and special requests received from the local government to the appropriate department or agency.

14.   Office of Procurement

a.    Provide available materials for departmental needs, including furnishing for the Disaster Assistance Center(s).

b.    Maintain accountability of stored materials.

c.    Insure proper documentation of issued materials.

15.   Office of Marine and Wildlife Resources

a.    Make watercraft available for evacuation or transportation of disaster victims and for such other uses deemed necessary.

b.    Assist Port Administration in search and rescue operations.

16.   Office of Communications

a.    Be responsible for monitoring and controlling all communications possible in order to assure centralized control when necessary.

b.    The Director of Communications or his representative will act as the principal communications Advisor to the Commissioner of Public Safety during all emergency or disaster operations.

c.    Restore and maintain communication services and facilities.

17.   Office of Human Resources

a.    Be responsible for implementation of the Individual and Family Grant Program (IFGP) in accordance with P.L. 93-288 and FEMA Regulation 44 CFR 205.  

b.    Process necessary documents for temporary emergency personnel appointments as the need arises for period not to exceed 30 days without limitations otherwise provided by law or rule.

18.   Airport Administration

a.    Notify all airport tenants-of any warning received.

b.    Activate Emergency Procedures Plan.

c.    Keep EOC advised of service ability of runway and, facilities.

d.    Assist in obtaining aircraft for damage assessment when requested by Office of the Governor.

e.    Initiate the repair of airport facilities with the support of Department of Public Works.

19.   Motor Pool

a.    Recall all vehicles not essential to disaster assistance operations.

b.    Be prepared to fuel all government vehicles and stand by for emergency transportation assignments and to keep records of the amount and date of fuel to each vehicle.

c.    Provide emergency repairs of all government vehicles.

d.    Provide twenty-four-hour vehicle dispatch service.

20.   American Samoa Power Authority

a.    Provide emergency electrical power where it is required.

b.    Restore and maintain electrical services.

B.    Local

       The basic element in the operation of the local government is the Aiga (family). Each aiga has a Village chief who is responsible for the general welfare of the family. The village chief who is responsible to the County Chief who in turn works closely with the District Governor in all matters concerning local affairs.

       The District Governor is responsible to the Secretary of Samoa Affairs. The Secretary who is appointed by the Governor, is politically the head of local government. The village pulenu‘u shall be responsible for the following:

1.     Be alert for instructions from police, television or radio to be relayed to the people of the village.

2.    Direct village people to take shelter or evacuate when instructed.

3.    Report to the Department of Local Government-Samoan Affairs) unusual conditions that require immediate action.

4.    Insure that injured persons are assisted immediately.

5.    Maintain a list of injured and deceased.

6.    Control and distribute food and supplies provided during and after the emergency.

7.    Make house count and report the number of houses with minor damages (less than 10%) major (over 10%) or destroyed (over 75%).

C.    Federal

1.    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been delegated the responsibility for providing Federal Disaster Assistance under the provision of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-233, as amended). This law authorizes FEMA to coordinate the activities of Federal Agencies in providing disaster assistance, and to direct any Federal agency to utilize its available personnel, supplies, facilities and other resources in providing such assistance as the result of a major disaster or emergency determination.

       Federal disaster assistance is intended to supplement but not to be a substitute for that afforded by the American Samoa Government and private relief organizations. When the Governor believes that Federal assistance is necessary to supplement the efforts and available resources of the Territory, he may request that the President declare a major disaster or make an emergency determination in order to implement the provisions of P.L. 93-288. Additional statutes authorized other Federal agencies to provide disaster assistance. When a major disaster is declared or an emergency is determined, such Federal assistance is subject to coordination by FEMA.

       The FEMA is charged with encouraging the development of comprehensive plans and practicable programs for preparation against disaster, including hazard reduction, avoidance, and mitigation, and for providing guidance to State and local governments in coping with disaster hazard pending or actual disasters. FEMA provides aid to States in the form of technical assistance to complement or supplement the State’s own resources in the formulation and implementation of plans and programs for preparation, against and recovery from disasters.

2.    United States Coast Guard

       The United States Coast Guard Liaison Officer will maintain close contact with both the Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) and the Coast Guard District Headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii, concerning possible Coast Guard assistance in the event of a disaster.

3.    United States Army Reserve (American Samoa Unit)

       The Army Reserve in the event of a disaster, will immediately be organized to assist in evacuation procedures, prevention of looting and transportation of victims to hospital at the direction of the Governor. 

4.    National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service, Tafuna

a.     The National Weather Service Station in Tafuna of NOAA will provide the Commissioner of Public Safety, available information as to the nature, imminence and potential severity of the anticipated danger.

D.    Private Relief Organizations

1.     American National Red Cross

       The American Red Cross is an emergency oriented service agency that focuses its efforts on meeting the emergency needs of disaster victims. (Shelter, food, clothing, medical and health assistance, counseling, blood and blood products). The Red Cross also provides additional assistance and services beyond mass care including the handling of welfare and casualty inquiries. The American Red Cross is mandated under Federal Charter provided by P.L. 58-4 to provide relief and recovery assistance, including mass care, in time of peace time caused disaster. In the Territory of American Samoa, the American Red Cross has the initial and primary responsibility for immediately meeting the mass case needs of disaster victims in coordination with the Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office. American Red Cross Disaster Action Teams will be dispatched to provide immediate on the scene emergency service to disaster victims and emergency workers in close coordination with TMECO. Assistance will be provided to disaster victims by opening mass shelters, operating fixed and mobile feeding stations, emergency first aid stations, and other facilities as appropriate. Red Cross mass care services apply to localized emergency situations such as those caused by tropical storms, flash floods, mudslides, etc., as well as major disasters affecting the entire territory.

       The Department of Education will coordinate with the Red Cross and make available school facilities for use in feeding and shelter, food supplies from the school lunch program and personnel to assist with mass feeding. Other churches, charitable and community groups that have the capability as facilities to assist, will coordinate their activities with the American Red Cross. Some specific actions taken by the American Red Cross would include:

a.    Food for victims and disaster workers.

b.    Emergency clothing.

c.    Mass shelter furnishings (beddings, mats, etc.)

d.    Transport of injured.

e.    Family services and rehabilitation.

       The Chairman of the Local American Red Cross Chapter will keep the Commissioner of Public Safety advised of all plans and activities.

2.     Churches

       Local church groups are encouraged to  establish contact with the American Red Cross in order to insure coordinated assistance activities. These should include but not be limited to:

a.    Providing space for mass shelter, feeding or emergency medical care.         

b.    Establish collection points for donated food and clothing.

c.    Assist in reuniting families and relatives when requested.

3.    Aiga System

       In accordance with Samoan customs, village families cooperate to assist each other with basic needs and comforts. During disaster situation it is particularly important that these efforts be coordinated with those of other relief agencies. Therefor, it is essential that the authority of the pulenu’u be observed at all times and that individual problems be brought immediately to his attention. Pulenu’u representation will be provided as appropriate at each FEMA Disaster Assistance Center, or mobile  team appearance.

4.     Local Industry

       It is imperative that industry take immediate action to insure that personnel and resources are protected. Procedures for the shut down of operations and evacuation should be established and adhered to. Damage reports and requests for assistance should be provided to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Useable resources should be identified and made available to the Procurement Office.


A.    Federal

1.    United States Executive Order No. 10264, June 19, 1951.

2.    Federal Civil Defense Act of 1980, P.L. 81-920 as amended.

3.    United States Disaster Relief Act of 1974, P.L. 93-288 as amended.

4.    Emergency Management and Assistance, 44 U.S. Code 2.1 (10-01-1980)

5      Federal Emergency Management Agency Regulations 44 CFR 205.

B.    Local

1.     American Samoa Government P.L. 15-105 Territorial Disaster Act, as amended by P.L. 18-6.


A.         Warning

In a slow building-up disaster or emergency situation (hurricane or tsunami), the ElviC will initiate the Alert Notification List. In those situations of obvious fast build-up disaster situation (earthquake), the EMC will initiate the Alert Notification List on his own initiation. Public warning will be by a “wailing sound” for 2 to 5 minutes, (high or low tones) of the bay area sirens and whistles. Police cars will be dispatched to announce warning to the village pulenu’u. Radio and T.V. will be utilized continuously during the emergency build-up period. Advisories and instructions will be issued through the disaster period as long as radio and/or television is available.

B.         Response

1.     Pre-emergency Phase

       This phase includes periods of normal operation as well as when warning of potential emergency has been issued. Government departments and agencies will take the following actions as appropriate to increase their capability.

a.    Review intra-departmental procedures for accomp1ishing responsibilities assigned in the plan.

b.    Establish and maintain liaison with the Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO) to insure an awareness of available departmental resources and procedures for coordination during emergency situations.

c.    Identify, train and exercise department personnel in implementation of the plan.

d.    Participate in inter-departmental disaster response tests and exercises.

e.    Response to notification of potential emergency situation.

2.     Emergency Phase

       This is characterized by the existence of conditions indicative of potential disasters. Upon such determination, the EMC will immediately activate the EOC and begin the alert notification.

a.    The National Weather Service will provide the Commissioner of Public Safety, available information as to the nature, imminence and potential severity of the anticipated danger.

b.    The Commissioner of Public Safety as the EMC will evaluate reports of the situation, and when necessary:

1.    Advise the Governor of the impending situation and recommend appropriate action.

2.    Determine the need for the territorial response.

3.    Activate the EOC and notify appropriate departments and offices of possible plan execution.

4.    The EOC will initiate actions in accordance with established procedures to meet the requirements of the situation as determined by the EMC.

c.     When directed by the EMC, Radio Samoa WVUV and the Office of Public Information will broadcast the warning over the radio and television. 

3.     Termination of Immediate Danger

       Upon determination by the EMC that the immediate emergency has terminated, notification will be made to the public by:

a.    Long steady tone on bay area sirens and whistles.

b.    Police cars dispatched to advise village pulenu’u.

c.    Telephone, Radios and T.V.

C.         Recovery

1.         Search and Rescue

Following termination of immediate danger and as soon as safe and practical, search for and rescue of victims trapped or stranded in the disaster area will be given priority and other recovery efforts. Close cooperation with debris removal and emergency repair crew is essential. The EMC will coordinate the use of the Department of Port Administration Search & Rescue Squad, Harbor Patrol, Public Works and other necessary agencies. Medical personnel arid field medical facilities will also be utilized.

2.         Damage Assessment and Survey

The Damage Assessment Team will be dispatched to gather data necessary for accurate determination of loss. Detailed reports will be provided to the Governor, in the event a request for Federal assistance has been initiated a damage survey will be required. In this case, only those members of the damage assessment team are required to augment the Federal Assistance Specialists Team will be utilized.

3.         Debris Removal and Emergency Repair

Debris and damaged facilities are a threat to the general health, safety and welfare because they endanger and may trap injured people. They deny the use of essential services and roadways in the disaster area and inhibit search and rescue, firefighting and other emergency assistance. The Department of Public Works has debris clearance and emergency repair responsibilities. They must closely coordinate their operation to avoid duplication of effort and the waste of time in order to obtain maximum speed, efficiency, and effectiveness.

4.         Federal Assistance

Requests for Federal Assistance will be prepared by the EMC in accordance with the provision of P.L. 93-288, Federal Disaster Assistance Programs Handbook DR&R 1 and DR&R 2 and the Digest of Federal Assistance Programs, which provide necessary application details.

5.         Reporting

            Each departmental agency assigned tasks will provide hourly situation reports (SITREPS) when requested by the EMC. Following the initial emergency and recovery phases daily SITREPS will be prepared in narrative form and submitted to the EOC, NLT 1700 hours.


A.        General

The Governor of American Samoa is responsible for direction and control over all comprehensive emergency management activities in the territory.

B.         Emergency Operations Center CEOC)

The Emergency Coordinating Committee, under the direction of the Commissioner of Public Safety, assumes direction and control activities from the temporary EOC, now located at the Police Dispatch Center of the Department of Public Safety in Fagatogo. It is capable of sustaining operations involving (20) people for a minimum of 14 days. The construction of a primary LOC, complete with update communications and centralized control is in the design stage.


Effective comprehensive emergency management operations depend upon two important factors to ensure continuity in the government from the highest to the lowest level:

(1)        Lines of succession for authorized personnel; and

(2)        Preservation of records.

A.         Lines of succession

1.         Territorial level

Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of American Samoa vests in the Governor, the chief executive power of the territory. Title 26, Chapter 1 of the American Samoa Administrative Code establishes the emergency management powers of the Governor. The Governor/ Lt. Governor, the Commissioner of Public Safety or the Disaster Coordinator will activate the Emergency Operating Center. He will insure rapid dissemination of warning information and call in the crisis management staff, the Coordinating Committee, depending upon severity and magnitude of disaster or emergency situation.

B.         Preservation of Records

(Note: This section deals only with recorded and related records that support the continuity of government).

Each ASG department and/or agency is responsible for maintaining and recording all legal documents affecting the organization and administration of emergency management functions. It is the further responsibility of government officials to ensure that all records are secure and protected from elements of damage or destruction at all times.


A.         Annexes

Provide more information regarding policies, responsibilities, and procedures about mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities associated with a given functional area. Annexes are on file in each ASG Department and Agency as well as the master file in the Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO) and EOC.

B.         Basic Plan

Establishes general policies, responsibilities, and procedures for implementing comprehensive emergency management.

C.         Emergency or Disaster

An occurrence threatening the health, safety, or property of a community or larger area. Emergencies of disasters are categorized as being natural or man-caused, including war related. Examples include hurricanes, highwinds, earthquakes, mudslides, tsunamis, floods and man-caused emergencies (explosion, fire, contamination, war-related).

D.        Hurricane Watch/Hurricane Warning

A “hurricane watch” is issued whenever a  hurricane becomes a threat to coastal areas. Everyone in the area covered by the “Watch” should listen for further advisories on the radio and be prepared to act promptly if a hurricane warning is issued. A “hurricane warning” is issued when hurricane winds of 74 miles an hour or higher, or a combination of dangerously high water and very rough seas, are expected in a specific coastal area within 24 hours.

Precautionary actions should begin immediately.   











 I.         PURPOSE

This annex has been prepared in order to identify those natural and man-caused catastrophes that would most likely result in a disaster or state of emergency within the Territory of American Samoa.

The geography, climate and socio-economic characteristics of the area and its people profoundly affect the impact of normally recognized disaster situation. Consequently, substantial background information is essential for proper perspective.


American Samoa is the southernmost possession of the United States and consists of a group of seven island located in the South Pacific at about 170 degrees west longitude and 14 degrees south latitude. These islands contain a total of approximately 76 square miles and are about 2300 miles southwest of Hawaii, 1200 miles northwest of Tahiti, 1600 miles northeast of New Zealand and about 80 miles southeast of the independent state of Western Samoa          (TAB Al). The islands of Samoa are located along the crest of a submarine volcanic ridge which extends for over 300 miles to the southeast.

The five volcanic islands of Tutuila, Aunu’u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta’u are the major inhabited islands. Tutuila, the largest and principal island is the center of government and business. It contains approximately ninety percent of the territory’s 30,000 population within its 53 odd square miles. Aunu’u, a satellite of Tutuila lies one mile off the east coast of Tutuila, the three islands of Ofu, Olosega, and Ta’u are collectively called the Manu’a islands, and are some 65 miles to the east of Tutuila. The two remaining islands of American Samoa are Rose and Swains, both of which are coral atolls. Rose Island, about 160 miles to the east of Tutuila is the Territory’s only uninhabited island. It does not have enough water to support human life and is preserved as a wild life refuge for sea turtles and birds. Swains Island, about 230 miles north of Tutuila, is the northernmost island of the territory and is geographically a part of the Tokelau Islands, but administratively is a part of American Samoa. The island is privately owned by the descendants of a New England whaling captain.


The islands of American Samoa are of volcanic origin and exhibit the rugged topographic relief common to Pacific volcanic islands. The islands rise precipitously from the ocean and are covered with lush tropical vegetation. Typically, sheltered embayments develop small coastal plains providing one of the few sources of flat land in the territory. Palm lined sand and coral rubble beaches rim much of the islands except where exposed to severe marine erosion. Beyond the narrow beach, there is usually a moderately wide fringing reef providing limited protection to the shore. The maximum elevations for the five major islands are: Tutuila 2142’, Aunu’u 280’, Ofu 1621’, Olosega 2195’, and Ta’u 3180’.  Drainage is provided by deeply incised stream valleys radiating from the summit of each distinct volcanic cone. Tutuila is geologically the most complex of the islands. Its spine consists of overlapping centers of early volcanic activity. The north shore is deeply indented by embayments with very little flat land other than at the mouth of each of the streams. The coastline is typified by high cliffs plunging directly into the ocean. The southern coastline is slightly more protected. The Tafuna-Leone Plain extends along the southside of the island from the village of Nuuuli westward to Leone. This formation is believed to be a late stage lava flow overlying a former barrier reef. During a lower sea stand, what is now Pago Pago Harbor was carved as a major stream valley. A rise in sea level flooded the former valley and producted one of the deepest and most sheltered harbors in the Pacific. The majority of the southern coast consists of broad fringing reefs except immediately near stream mouths where the salinity is too low for coral growth. Tutuila island is about 18 miles long and varies in width from 1 to 6 miles.  The total land area is about 53 square miles; land with slopes less than thirty degrees is scarce and found mostly in the Tafuna-Leone Plain which is about 13 square miles. Total land area with slopes less than thirty degrees is approximately 16 square miles or about 30 per cent of the island. 

Aunu’u off the east coast of Tutuila, is a small volcanic tuff cone that is dominated by a Erosion since the end of the volcanic activity slightly dissected crater whose rim rises 200 to has produced sedimentary deposits at the foot 300 feet above sea level. The land area is just of steep cliffs, valley floors, and along the coast over one-half of a square mile. The floor of the geology of the Manu’a islands is of crater is occupied by a marsh and lake. Marine essentially the same character but less complex erosion has developed steep cliffs on the east Soils in American Samoa are generally and south sides of the cone. Habitation on the island is on a low coastal flat land that rims the west and north sides of the island.

Ofu and Olosega are remnants of a single found in several plain locations volcanic island and are separated by a 500 foot wide strait. Both islands rise abruptly from the ocean with little flat land other than a narrow band along the coast. There are few well developed drainage basins on either island. The land areas of Ofu and Olosega are approximately 3 and 2 square miles respectively.           

Ta’u is the largest of the Manu’a islands, covering 17 square miles. It is formed by the northern hemisphere of the volcano, Mt. Lata. Streams are scarce and have poorly developed and shallow valleys. The south side of the island is inaccessible and consists of spectacular cliffs and cascades that drop over 1000 feet into the sea. Most of the coastline along the northern and western sides of the island are fringed by a fairly wide coastal plain fronted by narrow beaches. The villages on the west end of the island are built on terraces which are 10 to 15 feet above sea level and are composed of sand dunes and storm benches of coral sediments deposited by high waves.


Eminent Geologists (Stems 1944) reports that the island of Tutuila is composed of basaltic rock resulting from five major centers of volcanic activity. The major period of eruption was in the early to mid pliocene period. Four of the eruptions merged into a single island substantially larger than present day Tutuila.  Subsequent erosion caused the shoreline to retreat.  Later a fifth volcano built the Tafuna-Leone Plain area.  A smaller submarine eruption resulted in the small tuff cone island of Aunu’u. Erosion since the end of the volcanic activity has produced sedimentary deposits at the foot of steep cliffs, valley floors, and along the coast.  The geology of the Manu’a Islands is of essentially the same character but less complex.  

Soils in American Samoa are generally weathered volcanic material or coralline beach sands. The consistency varies from deposits of cinder or ash to clay. Clays and sandy loams are found in several plain locations.

V.        CLIMATE

The climate of American Samoa is tropical and characterized by wet and dry, seasons. During the wet or summer period, November through April, the islands lie in the Intertropical Convergence zone. This results in weak and variable winds; high temperature, rainfall and humidity. In the dry season or winter from May through October, the islands are influenced by the southern hemisphere trade winds. The pre-Tailng southeasterly winds bring slightly lower temperatures, and less rainfall and humidity.

The’ precipitation results from the upward deflection of the trades as they pass over the island as well as from major storm fronts and isolated thunderstorms. The annual precipitation vales with both location and elevation. The Pago Pago airport on the Tafuna-Leone Plain receives an average of 125 inches per year. Whereas the Pago Pago Harbor area, only five miles away, receives an average of nearly 200 inches per year. The summit of Mt. Alava which overlooks Pago Pago Harbor at an altitude  of 1600 feet receives more than 250 inches year. Nevertheless, seasonal rainfall variations are considerable and is not uncommon for extended dry periods of two or three months duration to result in critical water supply shortages.

The average temperature is about 80 degrees F. The mean daily range is about 12 degrees F. and the mean seasonal variation is only 3 degrees F. January, February and March are the warmest months, while June, July, and August are the coolest. The highest recorded temperatures have been in the low 90’s and the lowest was near 60 Degrees F,


The vegetation of American Samoa consists mostly of dense tropical forests. Approximately 30 percent of Tutuila and 10 percent of the Manu’a group have been cultivated in banana, breadfruit, taro and coconut.

American Samoa has few endemic animals. Domestic animals such as fowl, pigs and dogs were brought in with early Polynesian settlers. There are no snakes but other small reptiles are plentiful. The most abundant forms of wildlife are birds. The number of species is limited to about thirty indigenous species and a dozen or so seasonal inhabitants. There are some freshwater fish in the very few nonintermittent flow streams. The reef areas fringing the islands are characterized by numerous species of fish. These reef flats constitute a valuable resource. They extend seaward from the shoreline for distances up to half a mile and are utilized extensively by the Samoans for subsistence fishing. The reefs also provide some protection to the island from storm generated high seas and serve to replenish the sand beaches.


The people of American Samoa are culturally tied to the Western Samoans. The Samoan people are Polynesians as are the Hawaiians, Tahitians, Tongans, and the Maoris of New Zealand.  Their traditional lifestyle revolves around the aiga or extended family.

The aiga is a communal lifestyle headed by a matai or chief. The matai is responsible for the welfare of all under his rule. He is also responsible for protection and distribution of the families land. 

Historically, each village which is composed of one or more aigas, was self supporting, and trade with other villages or outsiders was not a basic necessity of life. Increased contacts with the Western World have caused the development of a job oriented cash economy. This cash economy is in conflict with the traditional Samoan lifestyle (fa’a Samoa), and, increasingly Samoans are being faced with the conflicts between the desire for Western material goods and a strong cultural link with fa’a Samoa. Traditional Samoan values and authority are being diffused and American Samoa is becoming increasingly Westernized.

The population of American Samoa today stands at approximately 30,000 with projection of limited (1.5%) growth through the remainder of this century.

The economy is dependent upon a very limited base. Employment trends in American Samoa substantiate the shift from a subsistence type of economy to a cash economy previously mentioned. With an estimated work force of some 6,000 persons, approximately 50% are employed by the Government of American Samoa. The remainder are engaged in food processing industries, can manufacturing, shipping, transportation and tourism.

Although American Samoa is remote from the centers of world trade, it has reasonable air and sea access from the outside world. Pago Pago International Airport is located about nine highway miles from the Pago Pago Harbor area. Regularly scheduled air service is provided to Honolulu, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Western Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and other neighboring islands.

Pago Pago Harbor is considered to be one of the best deep draft harbors in the Pacific. The deepwaters extend from the ocean into the inner harbor, and there has never been a need to dredge or maintain the entrance channel. Depths over 250 feet are recorded at the mouth of the harbor, shallowing  to 120 feet three quarters of the distance into the harbor. The right angle bend in the harbor provides the inner harbor with excellent natural protection from deep ocean waves and swell. Inter-island navigation is provided between Pago Pago Harbor, Aunu’u, and Manu’a Islands.

Highway transportation on Tu’tuila centers on the major paved road which extends for about 35 miles from Tula on the eastern end of Poloa on the western end along the southern coast of the island. This coastal road provides the only access between Pago Pago and the International Airport. There is limited road development on the other islands. (TAB A-2).

Historically, land use patterns within American Samoa were dictated by the communal lifestyle of the village. In general, a village would be developed around a large open space known as the malae. The village green was the center of community life, around it were located the various fales or houses of the matais and other villagers. The location of a dwelling in relation to the rnalae was determined by the title of the resident. Agriculture plots were located around the village and the matai assigned cultivation of specific plots to members of his aiga. The form of development resulted in clustering of habitat areas along the coast, usually at a point where a fresh water stream met the ocean. Between villages, the lands would be either cultivated or undisturbed. Some of this type development remains today. However, development of the road system and increased population concentration in the Pago Pago Harbor, or Bay area as it is frequently referred to, has modified the basic pattern of development. Fales are now more likely to be oriented facing the road rather than a malae. This has led to ribbon type development along the road and it becomes increasingly more difficult for an outsider to determine where one village ends and another begins. However, even with these changes, the traditional pattern of land ownership by the matai remains the same.

The Western concept of land use planning, particularly zoning, is not applicable to the existing land tenure system that gives virtually unlimited control of the land to the matai.  Attempts have been made at developing a territorial wide land use plan. At present, the only land use plan in existence is for the government owned lands in the Bay area. There are two zoning districts in the “Bay area” and the second in the Tafuna area including the airport industrial park.



With the foregoing in mind, a better understanding of the impact of recognized hazards on the social and economic structure can be achieved.

American Samoa is subject to the adverse effects of hazards of the general categories; Weather, Geologic, and Man caused Weather hazards are by far the most devastating. Hurricanes in particular have on occasion caused extensive damage. Available historical data is limited. This is mostly due to poor record keeping or loss of documentation through fire or other destructive forces. Word of mouth, especially recollections of the elderly matais, although sometimes quite elaborate, does provide an insight to the frequency and severity of previous disasters. The most severe hurricane on record struck American Samoa on 9 January 1915. Although the main force centered on the Manu’a Island group, all of Tutuila felt its ravages. For the first time in the history of American Samoa, the Congress of the United States voted direct contribution for relief in the amount of $10,000. The American Red Cross donated an additional $2,000. These were considered large sums especially in view of the limited economic development of American Samoa at that time. Disaster assistance and recovery was primarily through the aiga structure, which has been the historical case. Although the Manu’a islands were virtually  stripped of all vegetation and consequently lost all food supplies, the people were able to subsist through rapid recovery of some food items floating in the waters which were impervious to the effect of the water, coconuts and some bananas recovered rapidly were usable. Most important was the mutual air assistance from neighboring Western Samoa. The cultural ties of these two nations far exceed the requirement for written agreement to cover such assistance historic these two countries, although now politically international in character, have come to each other’s aid. There is every reason to believe that this relationship will continue.          

The most recently recorded hurricane to strike American Samoa was in January 1966 when substantial structural damage occurred throughout the island of Tutuila. For the first time, the ramifications of disrupted government and economic activities in the rapidly growing and high density Bay area were felt. Once again, much relief came in the form of mutual aid from Western Samoa. Federal assistance was substantial and provided long range recovery particularly in the area of new residential housing.

It appears that storms of hurricane force do not strike the island as frequently as other areas. Nevertheless, the storm tracks surround American Samoa and the vulnerability must be recognized. (TAB A-4a, b, c, d, e).

Waterspouts are not uncommon but they tend to occur outside the reef protection and are less violent then those occurring in other parts of the world. It must be recognized that any occurrence of waterspouts is potentially devastating particularly in view of the concentrations of population to the narrow shoreline areas.

Windstorms coupled with heavy rainfall can result in landslides and mud flows of extreme severity. The denuding effect on the tropical vegetation by sustained high winds will permit the soil on the precipitous slopes of the island to slide in avalanche fashion. This is particularly true when the soil becomes soaked and is moved by water flow resulting from extremely heavy rain fail. A recent instance of such an emergency caused over $500,000.00 damage. Although this incident was not disastrous in magnitude, the potential remains and must be considered.

Droughts have occurred on several occasions during the past history of American Samoa. Here again the particularly devastating effect has been magnified by the urban type development and concentration of population, in the Bay area. Increased living standards have naturally placed proportional demands upon the water supply system. Albeit difficult to understand how a territory of only 76 square miles, which receives an annual rainfall of over 150 inches and has a population of only 30,000, can have water supply problems, this answer is of course that existing water systems are, at times, deficient in producing and delivering water in sufficient quantity and quality and are in need of improvement. The two types of water systems within the territory are the centralized Government of American Samoa system of Tutuila (primarily for the Bay area) and the individual village systems throughout  the Government system consists of interconnected wells and surface catchments. This basic system was built by the U.S. Navy during the 1940’s and was designed for the small navy installation in the Bay area, with no thought of becoming the main water supply for the general population. Recent upgrading and quality improvement of the system will do much to alleviate the effects of periods of limited rainfall. Nevertheless, a long range expansion program and increased public sensitivity to the need for conservation and. protection of water for health and economic reasons is essential.

Geologic Hazards  causing disasters in American Samoa  are less frequent  but particularly more severe than weather hazards This is particularly true because of the little or no warning period possible.           

Earthquakes are felt frequently, throughout, the Territory. Most of these are of low magnitude and are probably centered many miles to the south in the area of Tonga. The main Pacific Basin faulting approaches from the south and turns west toward Indonesia. (TAB A-5). However, there are numerous fracture zones through the area which possess the potential for severe disturbances. In realities it is the result of the earthquake or undersea disturbance some distance from American Samoa that provides the real threat, the Tsunami. Here again, practically no written reports are on record and the tales of the matai provide some interesting visions of walls of water bearing down on American Samoa.   Factually, the Tsunami is the most devastating catastrophe which could strike American Samoa, if generated by an undersea earthquake in the Tongan Trench, under the right set of circumstances, a Tsunami could hit the islands and particularly the Bay area with such swiftness that warning may not be possible in sufficient time to be effective (TAB A-6). The destruction and loss of life in such a case would easily reach disastrous proportion. The situation would be further compounded since the shore road from the Bay area to the Airport would no doubt be innundated. The question of evacuation of injured via aircraft and the air shipment of vital food and supplies may only be academic since the airport itself is situated right on the coast in an area subject to high water damage. This brings to mind another hazard of lesser but still significant potential.

High Surf conditions have occurred on numerous occasions, invariably the result of storms within a few hundred miles distance. These conditions of high pounding surf easily incapacitate areas of the shore roads. Although hazard reduction measures are being taken to reinforce existing and construct new sea walls, the impact on increasing urban development can be severe. Volcanic activity, although extremely remote, remains of limited potential. Craters still exist on the island of Tutuila and the area just to the south near Tonga has reported frequent appearances and disappearances of small volcanic cones from the ocean floor.

Man-caused hazards vulnerability in American Samoa understandably is less than in other parts of the United States, but is directly related to the territorial development and urbanization, Additional impact must be considered as a result of the background and immature industrial sophistication of the people. Inadequate planning has resulted in the establishment and continued use of some hazardous procedures. Paramount among these is the oil and fuel loading dock in Pago Pago Harbor. Situated oily a few feet from the Rainmaker Hotel (TAB A-3), it is used by large ocean-going tankers to off-load supplies of oil and fuel (including aviation fuel) on a monthly basis. These fuels are transported by underground pipes to a tank from approximately one half mile distant. The dock is also used for refueling the tuna fishing fleet as well as other itinerant vessels. The increased population density in the Bay area now subjects hundreds if not thousands of people and millions of dollars worth of facilities to the effects of an inadvertent oil tanker fire or explosion. Although steps have been taken to reduce the hazard through the imposition of more stringent safety measures during loading and off-loading operations, the hazard potential will exist so long as the facility .is located adjacent to such congested area. The associated hazard of large oil spills is always present within the confines of the narrow harbor area.  A large spill could easily inundate the surrounding reef area and virtually choke the essential supply of sea food sustenance for the population. As the move toward urbanization continues, more and more of the category of disasters induced by man (i.e; fires, explosions, transportation and industrial accidents or utility failures) will become highly potential hazards.

In this connection, it is conceivable that a large wide-body aircraft accident could result in the taxation of medical and service facilities to catastrophic if not disastrous ‘proportions. Such a situation would be assured in the event an even minor natural hazard was being experienced simultaneously.


The physical characteristics, topography, geology, climate, vegetation as well as the socio-economic characteristics, of American Samoa and its people must be understood and held in proper perspective in order to adequately assess the vulnerability of the area to known hazards. The impact of commonly understood natural hazards such as hurricanes, wind and rain storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, as well as man-caused hazards is highly affected by the back ground as well as urbanization trends now existent. Whereas the people have for centuries weathered natural disasters, and still possess the inherent native outlook to do so, the encroachment of western ways makes Federal assistance a necessity. Consideration must be given to the somewhat naive and unsophisticated approach of the people toward the need for and efficient utilization of Federal assistance.

Hazard reduction measures in areas involving natural disasters depend greatly upon improved communication capability for adequate warning. The mitigation of mancaused disasters necessitates promulgation of strict zoning and building codes at least in the business and industrial areas. 


In 1853, Dobson (52) published a list of 24 hurricanes from Pacific island groups, together with some Australian storms, not here considered. In 1893, E.Knipping (106) extended the island1ist to120, and 10 more were added in 1897 (48). Scbuck (158) studied the time and place distribution, and added 5 to the list, bringing it up to 135. In 1920 additional storms were listed by the British Admiralty (20) and the United States Hydrographic Office, I was able, with the help of many generous residents of different groups, and the assistance of members of the Commonwealth Weather Bureau, to increase the list notably.

 The occurrence by island groups and the monthly distribution of tropical hurricanes in the South Pacific from New Caledonia to the Tuamotu 

Archipelago, inclusive, are listed in Table 6, based on a total of 259 hurricanes. As some storms affected more than one-island group, the total given is 311.

The record of storms varies greatly. For certain groups and in certain decades the information is fairly complete; for others it is fragmentary.  












 I.         PURPOSE

 This annex has been prepared in order to provide an understanding of the government and cultural institutions of American Samoa. This information is considered essential for proper administration of any disaster or emergency assistance program.


The territory of American Samoa is an insular possession of the United States, administered by the Department of Interior. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected by popular vote for four-year terms, and the Territory’s affairs are handled through the Director of Territorial Affairs. The organizational chart for the territorial government is shown on TAB B-1.

The territorial government of American Samoa is unique in that many of the employees, especially in the upper management and technological fields are employed on a two year contract basis. There is, therefore, a constant turnover of personnel. The large turnover in personnel together with a shallow depth of talent sometimes causes the responsibilities of one department or division to be shifted to another which has an individual talented in the area of the departing employee.

A significant portion of the territorial government’s operations and capital improvements are Financed through federal grants. Receipt of a large grant sometimes necessitates the formation of special task forces or agencies which operate for the length of the grant. These task forces utilize available personnel from several agencies to complete the project. As a result, the territorial government is very fluid in personnel, and the responsibilities of the various agencies. However, the government is relatively small and without complicated, overlapping jurisdictions.


The Samoan Legislature or Fono. Title 2 of the American Samoa Code and Article II of the Constitution of American Samoa provides for the establishment of the legislative branch of the territory. The legislature meets twice every year for 45-day sessions, usually in July and January.

The Senate: The Senate consists of eighteen members elected to Senate Districts that are comprised of the following counties. See TAB B-2 for a map of the counties of American Samoa:

Senate District 1:          Fiti’uta, Faleasao and Ta’u Counties Two (2) Senators

Senate District 2:          Olosega and Ofu Counties One (1) Senator

Senate District 3:          Sa’ole County One (1) Senator

Senate District 4:          East and West Vaifanua Counties One (1) Senator

Senate District 5:          Sua County Two (2) Senators

Senate District 6:          Ma’oputasi County Three (3) Senators

Senate District 7:          Itu’au County Two (2) Senators

Senate District 8:          Ma’upu (Tualauta) County Two (2) Senators

Senate District 9:          Leasina County One (1) Senator

Senate District 10:        Tualatai County One (1) Senator

Senate District 11:        Fofo County One (1) Senator

Senate District 12:        Lealataua County One (1) Senator

The Senators are elected in accordance with Samoan Custom by the County Councils of the county or counties they represent. The Senators serve a term of four years.

The House of Representatives: The House consists of twenty members elected to House Districts that are made up of the following villages or counties:

House District 1 :          Ta’u, Fiti’uta and Faleasao Counties Two (2) Representatives

House District 2 :          Ofu, Olosega and Sili One (1) Representative

House District 3 :          East and West Vaifanua Counties, composed of the villages of Alao, Aoa, Onenoa, Tula and Vatia, One (1) Representative

House District 4 :          Sa’ole County, composed of the villages of Aunu’u, Amouli, Utumea and Alofau, One (1) Representative

House District 5 :          Sua County No. 1, composed of the villages of Fagaitua, Amaua, Auto Avaio, Alega, Aumi and Lauli’i, One (l) Representative 

House District 6 :          Sua County No. 2, composed of the villages of Sa’ilele, Masausi, Masefau and Afono One (1) Representative 

House District 7 :          Ma’oputasi County No. 1, composed of the villages of Fatumafuti, Faga’alu and Utulei One (1) Representative 

House District 8 :          Ma’oputasi County No. 2, composed of the village of Fagatogo One (1) Representative 

House District 9 :          Maoputasi County No. 3, composed of the village of Pago Pago One (1) Representative 

House District 10 :        Ma’oputasi County No. 4, composed of the villages of Satala, Atu’u and Leloaloa, One (1) Representative

House District 11 :        Ma’oputasi County No. 5, composed of the village of Aua, One (1) Representative

House District 12 :        Itu’au County, composed of the villages of Nu’uuli, Fagasa, Matu’u and Faganeanea, Two (2) Representatives

House District 13 :        Fofo, composed of the village of Leone, One (1) Representative

House District 14 :        Lealataua, composed of the villages of Fagamalo, Fagali’i, Poloa, Amanave, Failolo, Agugulu, Se’etaga, Nua, Atauloma, Afao, Amaluia and Asili, One (1) Representative

House District 15 :        Ma’upu (Tualauta), composed of the villages of Tafuna, Mesepa, Faleniu, Mapusaga Fou, Pava’ia’i) Ili’ili, and Vaitogi, Two (2) Representatives 

House District 16 :        Tualatai, composed of the villages of Futiga, Itu’au (Malaeloa), Taputimu andVailoatai, One (1) Representative

House District 17 :        Leasina, composed of the villages of Aitulagi (Malaeloa), Aoloau and Aasu, One (1) Representative

The members of the House are elected by popular vote at the polls in the 17 representative districts. There is one delegate from Swains Island elected by the adult permanent residents at an open meeting. He has all the privileges of a member of the House except the right to vote.

The twenty representatives, the delegate from Swains Island each hold office for two years.                                                                  

Congressman to United States Government:

Established under Title 19, American Samoa Code, the Congressman maintains an office in Washington, D.C., where he presents the views of the Samoan Legislature or Governor to  federal departments and agencies. He cannot bind or commit the Government of American Samoa in any manner without specific authority from the Legislature of American Samoa. He is elected to a term of two years and as a nonvoting congressman to the United States.

Department of Local Government: The Department of Local Government, also known as the Office of Samoan Affairs, operates under the authority of Title 3, Section 201, of the American Samoa Code. The department serves as the link between the traditional leaders of the Samoan people and the territorial Government. It is directed by the Secretary of Samoan Affairs. Under the administration of the secretary are three district governors, 14 county chiefs, 53 village pulenu’us (mayors), six leoleo (village police officers) and three district clerks.

The Department of Local Government strives to develop a self-sustaining and selfreliant system of local government consistent with traditional policy. At the local level the Department is very concerned with village problems such as water systems, roads, sanitation, agriculture, schools) and land disputes. It coordinates the community recreation program, supervises the “Samoan-Village” and other recreation areas in Pago Pago Park, coordinates summer youth programs and coordinates island-wide clean-up and beautification campaigns.

District Government: Under the authority of Title 4 of the American Samoa Code, the Territory of American Samoa is divided into districts for purposes of local administration. These districts are separate from Senate and House Districts. The District Government and its sub-divisions are an integral part of the territorial government and are not, by themselves, separate governmental entities. They do not deal directly with any governmental agencies outside of the territorial government. The island of Tutuila and Aunu’u are divided into two districts, known as the Eastern District and Western District.

The three islands forming the Manu’a group constitute one district, known as the District of Manu’a. Swains island is not included in any of the districts and for administration purposes is directly under the Office of the Governor of American Samoa.  

The district governors for each district are appointed by the Governor of American Samoa after consideration of recommendations from the respective district council. The term of office for district governors is four years. Each District Governor is responsible for the welfare and good order of the people of his district council and communicates all matters pertaining to his duties with the Governor and the Secretary of Samoan Affairs.

A district clerk is also appointed by the Governor of American Samoa to assist the district governor in the preparation of correspondence, reports and the maintenance of files and records.

The district council is chosen in each district in accordance with Samoan custom. They are charged with all matters of a loca1 nature concerning the district such as cleanliness, water supply, roads and agriculture.

County Government: Under the authority of Title 4 of the American Samoa Code, the three districts are further divided into 14 counties. The Governor of American Samoa appoints a county chief for each of the fourteen counties after consideration of recommendations by the appropriate district governor and county council. 

The county chief serves a four-year term. He presides at the meetings of the county council, acts on direction of the district governor, and communicates all matters concerning the council to the district governor. He is responsible for the welfare and good order of the people of the county. 

County councils are chosen in accordance with Samoan custom. They are charged with all matters of local nature concerning the county.

Village Government: The Governor of American Samoa appoints from the ranks of the chiefs resident in each village, a chief known as the pulenu’u, to serve for a term of two years.

The Governor makes his appointments after considering the recommendations of the appropriate district governor and county chief. The village council (village fono) makes nominations to the district governor and county chief.

The village pulenu’u has the following duties:

a.    Is responsible for the welfare and good order of the people of his village.

b.    Presides at the village council meetings and reports the proceedings to the county chief.

c.    Reports to the county chief as to the order of the people of his village, the sanitary condition of the village, the state of the roads and all other matters to which the village council is requested to attend by the county chief.

d.    Convenes the village council. 

e.    Enforces all village regulations.

f.     Keeps all records required by law.

The village council consists of all chiefs and heads of families resident at the village.

They are required to meet at least once each month or at the direction of the pulenu’u. The following rules apply at village council meetings:

a.    All present at the meeting may speak before the council.

b.    The presiding chief shall direct who may speak first if there is a dispute as to who has the floor. 

c.    All persons attending the meeting must obey the presiding chief in matters concerning the council.

The village council of each village may enact regulations concerning matters of local or village nature providing they are approved by the Office of Local Government and have been proclaimed publicly and posted in writing.

The Governor may appoint one or  more persons in each village as village police officers after consideration of recommendations by the village council. The village police officer, leoleo, is under the immediate supervision of the pulenu’u.

Administration of Swains Island: The local government of Swains Island, consists of a government representative, a village council) a pulenu’u, and a village policeman.


A.         The Matai System. Traditional Samoan society is organized upon a blending and combination of several principles. These include the principle of hereditary rank. The functions of relationship groups, and the rights and privileges of the organized village community. The social organization can be discussed as it is conceived in theory, but in reality, it is subject to change and reinterpretation because of the personalities) geography,  specific history or outside forces involved.

The cultural institutions are still the strongest single influence in American Samoa. They must, however, continually adopt to the external influences introduced by returning Samoans, television programs, movies, increased number of palagi (Caucasian or outsider) contract workers, and the large variety of consumer goods and products available to Samoans. The ceremonial functions to many of the cultural institutions have been modified to accommodate the normal working hours of employees or other social occasions. Samoan culture has a certain degree of flexibility that allows ceremonial and traditional customs to be modified to suit the current situation. There is a strong feeling among many Samoans that outside influences are causing the younger generation to become apathetic towards the matai system and its impact is not known, but it may have a great impact in the near future.

Aiga (Family Unit) and Matai (Chief). The basic unit of Samoan society is the aiga, a word variously translated into English as “extended-family”, “family group”, “patriarchy”, or “clan”. Any aiga consists of a group of people related by blood, marriage, or adoption, varying in number from a few to 200, who acknowledge a common allegiance to a particular matai. The Matai possesses authority over the members of his aiga and regulates their activities, whether in agriculture, fishing, or the reception of guests. Family resources are similarly under his direction. Traditionally, the matai consults the alga before exercising his authority. Consultation and discussion is a highly developed practice at every level of Samoan society.

These family units create a close knit group with an intense local pride and a close community of interest. It is common for a Samoan, when asked to give a family name for identification, to give the name of his matai who may not be his biological or natural father.

The Fa’alupega: The village is a combination of hundreds of people in these various family units. Socially, each village is defined by its fa’alupega, which contains a highly formal greeting of its principal matais. The correct place and dignity are accorded to each; and the relationship of local matai titles to the broader lineage structure of Samoa is made explicit. The possession of such a fa’alupega is in effect, the required demonstration of a particular village’s autonomy. It provides a conventional record of the village’s history, in terms of kinship and social status, and defines the constitution of its fono (village council). The appropriate fa’alupega are recited on all formal occasions, such as the meeting of the fono or the reception of guests from another village. It is the pride and duty of the orators to know them for the whole of Samoa. 

Village Fono (Council of Chiefs). The most important group in the village is the fono or council of chiefs, which is composed of the matai of the village, and is responsible for the general government of the village community. At a meeting of the fono, the members’ seating positions are determined in accordance with the importance of the matai title which each holds.  Each title is assigned a rank and a fixed place in an ideal circular plan, the fixed points of which correspond to the posts in a Samoan round house. Men holding the leading titles sit in front of particular posts, the others occupy the spaces between. This order also determines the right to speak.

When a matai of high title expresses an opinion, those of lesser standing cannot with propriety dissent. However, since a large proportion of villages possess several titles of higher standing than the rest, this convention does not commonly lead to the creation of autocracy. Moreover, the Samoan conception of leader as a spokesman for, and representative of the group, has created the habit of informal consultation.

Even where this procedure is not used effectively, the Samoan convention of debate permits attitudes to be made clear without the open expression of disagreement. The relative rigidity of the social structure and its formal expression in the structure of the fono is thus much mitigated in practice.

During the meeting, matters  of general interest or concern are discussed; regulations regarding the conduct of village affairs made; and decisions reached as to the punishment of offenders of village customs and regulations. The fono allows Samoan society to maintain law and order and social integration at the village level. The system is a sophisticated one. It provides channels for the attainment of personal satisfaction by the participants as well as the procedures for the maintenance of social and political stability. Structural rigidity and operational flexibility are effectively combined.

Ali’i (Chief) and Tulafale (Orator or Talking Chief). The traditional tribal structure of the matai system is divided by function into Ali’i and Tulafale. In the affairs of their own families, the Matai has the same responsibilities whether they are chief or orators; but in the Fono and in public affairs, the functions of the two groups are complementary. The chief is the titular leader; the ultimate repository of authority:

The orator is the executive agent, who performs for the chief a variety of duties which are contrary to propriety for the chief to perform for himself. The orator is the repository of genealogical knowledge, history,  and legend; he makes h behalf of the village, he organizes the ceremonial distribution of food; and he acts as master of ceremonies when a chief’s title is being bestowed.

The relative influence of chiefs and orators differs from place to place, depending upon genealogical structure, upon time and circumstances, and upon personality. But the differences of function between the two groups is a constant factor. It should be understood that based upon this genealogical order of classifications, there exists a host of sub-chiefs, and suborators, that may number several thousands matais. This confusion of sub-chiefs and sub-orators has given rise to western translation such as a high chief, high talking chief, chief and talking chief but it is impossible to say that one chief is “higher” than another without a knowledge of the exact circumstances for which the determination is being made. The higher ranked alibi or paramount high chiefs are classified by reason of the genealogical order under the traditional Tusi of Fa’alupega (Book of Traditional and Formal Titles and Greetings). It is difficult to set forth a definitive description of a typical village hierarchy because each village varies immensely from the others. It is customary for new governmental programs, to recognize the traditional genealogical titles of the villages or districts which participate in any development project or program.

Election of a Matai: The right of electing a Matai is in most cases vested in the family as a whole. This group includes both members by descent and persons connected with the family by marriage or adoption who are living as members of the family. In practice, however, family members living in another village and not participating in the affairs of the family are not usually expected to take part in the discussions. In reaching their decision, the members of the family bear certain customary considerations in mind. the eldest surviving brother of the previous holder before his death as to who should be his successor. But, fundamentally, the members are free to make their own choice. They are concerned with ensuring the amicable and effective control of the family’s affairs and with the maintenance of its standing in the community. Special attention is paid to a candidate’s past record of loyalty to the family and service to the previous Matai.

The Role of the Matai: The Matai requires respect for his position, and in turn, accords respect to his juniors. He maintains order and discipline and adjudicates all intrafamily land without the consent of the family.  Since his position is elective and not hereditary, he may be deposed if his administration displeases his family members.

 Editor’s Note: This passage read as follows in the 1978 version of Annex B: The eldest surviving brother of the previous holder of the title is entitled to special consideration. Also, to be taken seriously is a declaration by the previous holder before his death as to who should be his successor. 

 Editor’s Note: This passage read as follows in the 1978 version of Annex B: He maintains order and discipline and adjudicates all intra-family disputes. He is trustee of the family lands, but he is not the owner. Although land cannot be sold without his consent and the approval of the Governor of American Samoa, he cannot dispose of family land without the consent of the family.

Other Village Groups: The untitled men in a village belong to the Aumaga. The Aumaga gives service to the Matais and they work on community projects, i.e. clearing land, planting crops and group fishing. The women who are members of the local families by birth or adoption belong to the Aualuma, and the wives of the Matai to the Potopotoga o Feletua ma Tausi. The wives of untitled men form a less clearly defined group Fafine Laiti which assist, and sometimes meet with the Faletua ma Tausi group. Each group serves a village function which benefits the community, Duties range from weeding taro patches, to weaving mats and le Toga (fine mats), to inspecting village plantations.

The Tama Famine group recognizes that special relationship between brothers and sisters. Brothers have an obligation to consider, the interests of their sisters and their sisters’ children. The sisters are held to have the power of cursing their brothers and their descendants if these obligations are neglected. This relationship and members of an aiga who are related to it through a female are recognized to exercise great influence, through the power of veto, on family decisions regarding the choice of a matai or the alienation or assignment of land.

The Role of Religious Groups: The religious institutions in American Samoa play an important but varied influence in the community. The major religions in American Samoa are Catholic, Samoan Congregational Christian Church, Methodist, and Mormon. A priest or minister is accorded a privileged position in the village community and is equal in status to a high chief. They may make village rules that affect the conduct of the villagers on Sunday, i.e., no one may swim in the sea on Sunday, and no one may cause a disturbance while the church is in service. The Church is also a landowner by reason of gifts and purchases of real property. The amount of influence of the church is highly dependent on the personality of the priest or minister. 

Suggested Protocol for Approaching the Samoan Community.

a.    Contact the Department of Local Government and request that a representative accompany the program official when conflicting the District Governor to ask for assistance in arranging the itinerary for the official. 

b.    Give advance notice to the District Governor and request the assistance of an able orator to accompany the program official to the particular village and to arrange the formalities with the village fono.

c.    Have the District Governor’s representative request that the village fono select the matai or matais that will be involved with the particular program.

d.    Develop a follow-up system to allow the program official to return to the district or village for future contacts on a less formal basis.

e.    Always be sure to keep all the matais and officials involved in any development program briefed on the status of their particular projects.

B.         The Samoan Land Tenure System: American Samoa presently has three characters of land holding: (1) communal land, (2) individually owned land, and (3) freehold land. Prior to the creation of freehold land grants in 1900, all lands in American Samoa were designated as communal lands. The majority of land is still under communal control. The character of some land has changed from that of communal control to one of individual control, a new character of land created by the courts. 

Communal or Native Held Lands: Communal lands are characterized as lands that are held under Samoan customs and subject to the pule (authority) of the matai. Pule, a general Samoan word meaning control  does not imply ownership. It denotes the responsibility for allocating land, working it, and safeguarding it for future generations. The matai at the head of an aiga has been elected to at least one title and sometimes to several. Each title bestows pule over family lands.

Assignments of land by a matai for a house or a plantation for a family member is for, that person’s lifetime and cannot be revoked except for good cause; i.e., refusal to render services to the matai. The permission to use family lands given or assigned to family members continues as long as family members render a service to the matai and use it in accordance to Samoan customs. A matai may use produce, profits and rents from communal land in which he has had interests by virtue of his title in any manner he wishes, and members of a family may not claim an interest in property purchased with such profits.

The land holdings of each matai usually consist of several non-continuous and oddly shaped plots and are well-known throughout the village. Where a patch has recently been cleared for a garden or plantation, its limits are readily recognized, but in older plantations or work plots, this proves more difficult. Often the boundaries of each fragment are dependent on natural features such as a end in a stream bed, a coconut stump, an indention in the ground, a large boulder or a tree; but these established limits are as definite to the Samoan pule holder as if they had been surveyed and fixed accurately on a map. In this respect, they are far 1ess vague and present fewer problems than the boundaries of village land. 

The Samoan sense of belonging to a community is most evident in the ownership of land. Land is the aiga’s most precious possession, but paradoxically little care is given it, and well developed agricultural forms are not practiced. An interesting aspect of land character is the village malae which is equivalent to a village green or town plaza. The main is located in the center of the village and is surrounded by the matai guest houses or fales which are organized based upon rank of the matai. The malae is used for village social activities and for sports events, and is maintained by all the families in the village. Each metal is given rule over a section of the malae according to rank but usually in front of his guest fale.              

All alienation of communal land must be reviewed by the Land Commission and approved by the Governor. All alienation of communal land is restricted to Samoans of at least one-half Samoan blood. All leases for communal lands are limited to 30 years and must be posted for 30 days, approved by the Land Commission, and approved by the Governor of American Samoa prior to it becoming effective.

Individually Owned Land: When an individual has cleared virgin bush or occupied land without objection by others and there is no evidence that land is communally owned, the land can be claimed as individually owned. The character of individually owned land is an estate which subjects it to the restrictions on alienation of lands to Samoans of at least one-half Samoan blood. It can be described as an estate which is lesser in character to freehold or fee simple estates, which are alienable to any person or entity. It is a greater estate than communal land for the reason that it can be alienated to a Samoan with at least one-half Samoan blood, but does not have to be reviewed by the Land Commission and approved by the Governor of American Samoa.

Freehold Land: Freehold land or fee simple land is a character of land that was created by the court grants of the Supreme Court of Western Samoa prior to 1900 under the German administration of Western Samoa. Freehold lands represent a very small portion of the total land area of American Samoa. The freehold lands are primarily held in probate estate of the original grantor who often has several hundred heirs.

Government, Church, and School Held Lands:

The non-alienation regulations do not prohibit the conveyance and transfer of native lands for governmental purposes to the United States Government or to the Government of American Samoa and, upon approval of the Governor, to a recognized religious society or for school purposes.

Incorporation of Villages: The Revised Code of American Samoa does not have any provision for the incorporation of a village into a municipal corporation which organizes the inhabitants of a prescribed area must be established under the authority of legislature. 

Samoan Land Tenure: In order to fully understand the impact of Samoan land tenure on development, one has to determine whether the land tenure is communal land, individually owned land or freehold land. The approach to each land tenure system represents distinct differences that are crucial to success of any development plan in American Samoa, Communal Land Tenure: Introduction of any development on communal land will involve a highly complicated and intricate process of meeting the proper matai to have him exercise his pule over the use of land under his jurisdiction to allow development. The Land Commission and Governor must give written approval to any lease, easement, license or other documents that affect communal land or any part thereof. Some development will most likely involve boundary disputes over the pule of matai. Boundary identification for the development on communal land becomes more acute in a family that has not elected a matai or if there is a contested matai that is in the process of court litigation. In these situations, all the senior male members of the family must be consulted prior to any development action being approved.

Individually Owned Land Tenure: The government restrictions on communal land do not exist in the development of land registered as individually owned land. Except for the alienation restriction, the owner is free to negotiate licenses or easements directly with any person or other entity.

Freehold Land Tenure: The freehold estate preferred character of land in American Samoa, but it is the most limited. It includes less than 3 to 4 percent of the entire land area in American Samoa. All freehold lands are held -to probate estates of the original grantee . They are subject to the claims of the heirs in common who may number several hundred. The Hunkin Estate is the most accessible to development, by reason of the appointment of three trustees empowered to lease land belonging to the estate, but the trustees are restricted from any alienation or sale of these lands. All other probate estates holding freehold lands remain in a state of flux and uncertainty.

Constitutional Restrictions on Land Use: The Constitution of American Samoa and the American Samoa Code do not have a provision as to the ownership or pule over the surface underground water. The Code provides that the laws in full force and effect in American Samoa include the Constitution of American Samoa; such parts of the Constitution of the United States of America and such laws of the United States of America as shall, by their own force, be in effect in American Samoa; the American Samoa Code; and as much of the common law of England as is suitable to conditions in American Samoa and not inconsistent with the other laws applicable to American Samoa.

Samoan customs are preserved by law if they are not in conflict with the laws of American Samoa or the laws of the United States. An exception allows that the village, county and district councils consisting of hereditary chiefs and talking chiefs retain their own form or forms of meeting together to discuss affairs of the village, county or district according to their own Samoan customs.

The Constitution of American Samoa provides that no change in the law respecting the alienation or transfer of land or any interest therein, shall be effective unless it is approved by the two successive legislatures and by two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the House of Representatives and the Senate and approved by the Governor. 

It would appear that without any statutory provision to distinguish water rights of landowners, the common law principles may apply. The general common law principles give riparian water rights to the landowner or abutting landowners, subject to any public domain proceedings or purchase and sale of the real property by the government. There is an absence of court cases in this area and riparian rights have not defined application to groundwater or to amounts of water available under these rights.

Territorial Government Regulations on Acquisition of Real Property: On June 13, 1974, the Government of American Samoa adopted the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970.

The Land Acquisition Chapter of the regulations set forth the procedures for the acquisition of real property. The regulations are given below to emphasize the procedures that should be followed by the Government of American Samoa.

Reg. 2.01 - PURPOSE: This chapter prescribes the acquisition of real property.


“(a) In acquiring real property the Government will to the greatest extent practicable:

“(1) make every reasonable effort to acquire real property expeditiously through negotiations;

“(2) before the initiation of negotiations have the real property appraised and give the owner or his representative an opportunity to accompany: the appraiser during the inspection of the property;

“(3) before the initiation of negotiations establish an amount which is believed to be just compensation for the real property and make a prompt written offer to acquire the property for that amount. In no event will the just compensation offered be less than the Government’s approved appraisal of such property provided however, when it is shown by appropriate means that a project will result in a direct benefit to the person, family, or village having custody of lands required by the Government for such programs or project, and where such benefit will at a minimum equal the value of- lands to be acquired or damaged, such benefit to the owner will constitute just compensation; and provided further, in all cases the Government shall compensate owners for immediate loss of crops, food producing trees, and manmade improvements; and provided further the determination of equal value in benefits for the property owners in writing in the presence of the Secretary of Samoan Affairs or his designee. At the time the Government makes an offer to purchase real property, the owner of that property will be provided with a written statement of the basis for the amount estimated to be just compensation for the property any increase or decrease of the fair market value caused by the public improvement for which the property is acquired prior to the date of valuation will be disregarded (other than that caused by physical deterioration);

“Editors Note: this passage read as follows in the 1978 Version of Annex 13: and provided further the determination of equal value in benefits for the land acquired or damage must be agreed to by the property owners in writing in the presence of the Secretary of Samoan Affixes or his designate.

“(4) Before requiring any owner to surrender reasonable expenses of litigation, in line with possession of any real property:  Section 304, Uniform Relocation Assistance and

“(i) pay the agreed purchase price; or Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1 970;

“(ii) deposit with the court, for the benefit of the owner, an amount not less than the just compensation determined by the government’s approval appraisal of the property; or

“(iii)   pay the amount of the award of compensation in a condemnation proceeding for the property; Editors Note: This passage read as follows in the 1978 version 

“(5) If interest in the real property is to be of acquired by exercise of power of eminent domain institute formal condemnation proceedings to prove the fact of the taking of this real property; and,

“(6) If the acquisition of only part of the property will leave its owner with an uneconomic remnant, offer to acquire that remnant.

“(b) In acquiring real property to the greatest extent practicable, the Government will not:

“(1) schedule a construction or development of the public improvement that will require any person lawfully occupying real property to move from a dwelling, or to move his business or farm operation, without giving that person at least 90 days written notice of the date he is required to move; or

“(2) if acquired property is rented to the former owner or tenant for a short term or subject to termination by the Government on short notice, charge a rent that is more than the fair rental value of the property to a short term occupant; or

“(3) advance the time of condemnation; or

“(4) defer negotiations, condemnation or deposit of funds in court for use of the owner to agree to a price for his property; 

“(5) take any course of action to compel an owner to agree to a price for his property.

“(c) Should a court determine condemnation was unauthorized or the property owner obtain a judgment in the nature of inverse condemnation or should the Government abandon condemnation, then the owner shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses of litigation, in line with Section 304, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970;

“(d) Nothing in these regulations should be construed to preclude a donation by an owner after his property has been appraised and the full amount of the estimated just compensation has been tendered to him”.



















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1.             Public Works

2.             Port Administration

3.             Education

4.             Marine Railway

5.             Administrative Services

6.             Manpower Resources

General Manager Construction Div.

Assistant Director

Special Ass’t for Public Affairs

Yard Master or Dock Master Implementation

IPA Grant Coord.











I.          PURPOSE

This annex describes the Communications systems available for use during disaster warning, reporting, rescue, and relief operations.

II.         GENERAL

Communications between American Samoa and the outside world consist of satellite voice circuits telex network between American Samoa and Hawaii/U.S. Gateways. The American Samoa Government has leased several of these circuits, with intentions to buy Earth Station.

Communications between various points in American Samoa (including the outer islands) consists of a standard commercial telephone system, plus TEMCO UHF Radio, 2 channel system.

Separate radio-dispatch nets are maintained by the Police Department and Department of Communications and ASPA.

The Port Administration maintains normal ship to shore and distress frequency channels on VHF and HF. Radio communication is also maintained with Swains Island on communication center HF Net.

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains VHF communications which include ship to shore and distance frequencies in both the rescue boat and the Base Station. Hand held portable transceivers and Citizens Band (CB) transceivers are also maintained.

Amateur (HAM) Radio Operators are also available for emergency use.


Initial warnings are normally passed to the Commissioner of Public Safety and office of the Governor via telephone. The Commissioner of Public Safety, when necessary, initiates the Alert Notification Procedures (ANNEX D). At home notifications are made during off-duty hours using both telephone and police cars as necessary.

All communications will be controlled from the Emergency Operations Center. It may be necessary to temporarily remove some radio and landline capability from the Communications Center building until such time as equipment is installed in the Emergency Operations Center.

The primary radio net during all emergency or disaster operations will be the Police dispatch and TEMCO UHF Radio Frequencies system controlled from the Emergency Operations Center. The use of the Public Works and Medical Health Services Systems by the Emergency Operations Center will be on as required basis. (None in operation at this time)

During any emergency or disaster operation it will usually be necessary to improvise in order to meet urgent communications needs. All departments, agencies and organizations involved in the use of this plan are required to report any such variations to the Emergency Operation Center immediately.











I.          PURPOSE

The purpose of this annex is to establish the organization and procedures for rapid assessment and reporting of disaster damage.


A.   FDAA Disaster Assistance Program Eligibility Handbook 3300.6 Chapter 3, December 1975.

B.    FDAA Region IX Individual Assistance Damage Assessment, January 1978.

C.    FDAA Region IX Public Assistance Damage Assessment, May 1976.


Damage assessment is the immediate and rapid collection of general information on the nature, severity and location of damages resulting from a disaster incident. It serves several critical purposes:

A.   It provides all levels of the Government with the information needed to determine what response action should be taken.

B.    It provides the basis for the Governor’s decision to invoke his emergency authority and to request Federal assistance.

C.    It is the primary factor in the determination of a Presidential declaration of an emergency or major disaster condition under Public Law 93-288.

Damage assessment may or may not involved joint Federal Territory team. In the event of a catastrophic event of major proportions, the assessment may be accomplished after the Governor’s request.

Damage assessment is not synonymous with Damage Survey. Damage Survey consists of the detailed inspection, evaluation, and estimation of the cost to restore or replace damaged facilities to their pre-disaster condition, and is usually accomplished only after a Presidential Declaration has been made. Damage Surveys are conducted by Federal and Territorial specialists who prepare separate reports for each eligible project.


A.    The Damage assessment team will be made up of representatives from the following Government of American Samoa Departments and Agencies.

1.    Department of Public Safety                1

2.    Department of Health                         1

3.    Department of Public Works               1
Civil Engineer

              1 Highway Specialist

              1 Water/Specialist

              1 Building Damage Specialist

4.    American Samoa Power Authority        1
Power Specialist

5.    Department of Agriculture                   1

6.    Development Planning Office             1

B.    The Commissioner of Public Safety, as the State Coordinating Officer (SCO) will provide the Team Coordinator from the Disaster Assistance Coordination Division. It will be his responsibility to insure that the team is properly organized and trained to perform their duties in an accurate and expedient manner.


A.   Damage  Assessment begins as soon as possible after the onset of a disaster and is completed as quickly as possible. The damage assessment team will be notified by the SCO when an emergency condition is imminent or exists within the Territory. Team members will immediately assemble in the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for briefing and transportation arrangements.

B.    Upon arrival at the disaster area starting point the team will determine the severity and magnitude of the damage by considering the following:

1.    Casualties

2.    Area affected

3.    Damage to private property

4.    Damage to ASG or public facilities

5.    Number of persons requiring temporary housing

6.    Number of persons unemployed as a result of the disaster

7.    Adequacy of relief efforts

8.    Estimate of need for Territorial and Federal Assistance

C.    Based upon initial observations the Team

       Coordinator will make an immediate oral report to the SCO (and to Governor, if necessary) as to the overall impact of the disaster incident to include supplemental rescue or disaster relief requirements. This initial report will be based upon limited reconnaissance and is not a substitute for a comprehensive assessment.  The damage assessment summary report (Tab F-1) will then be completed by the Team Coordinator. This data will be based upon the team’s findings as reflected on worksheets.

D.   Should the Governor request Federal assistance under the provisions of PL 93-288, the team will, in cooperation with the Federal Coordination Officer and his staff accumulate the required Damage Survey Report Data for Project Application in accordance with FEMA Handbook 3300.5 and 2200.6.


Development of an accurate and effective damage assessment capability is dependent upon the skills of the selected individuals and the training received. It is imperative the Team Coordinator conduct sufficient meetings, training sessions, and exercises of the entire team so as to insure proficiency. Department Heads responsible for appointing team members will insure that the individual is qualified and well aware of his responsibility to maintain proficiency in damage assessment techniques and procedures.



1A. No. of  Dead___________   

1B. No. of  Injured___________

2A.  No. of  Private Dwellings Damaged__________

2B. No. of  Private Dwellings Destroyed _________

2C. $__________

3A.       No. of  Business Damaged________

3B. Destroyed_______


4A.       Crop Damaged Percent______________

4B. Value of Crop Loss and Damaged $__________


5A.Livestock loss and Damaged Percent___________Cost $____________

5B. Value of Loss and Damaged $________________

5C. Types_______________________________

6A.  Emergency Feeding completed………………Cost $__________________

7A.  Emergency Feeding anticipated………………Cost $__________________ 7B.  Types of Food ____________________________

Debris Clearance — Estimated Cost $___________

Protective Measures — Estimated Cost $___________

Road Systems   $_______________________

Water Control Facilities          $___________________

Public (Gov’t) Buildings and Related Equipment   $_______________________

Public (Gov’t) Utilities          $___________________

Government Facilities under construction               $_______________________





Estimator____________________________ Date___________________

1.    Location of Damage_____________________

2.    Description of Damage___________________


3.    Estimate of costs to repair or replace extent possible)

(Itemize elements to the extent possible)

___________________  $___________________

___________________  $___________________

Estimate of Original Cost $____________________

Estimate of Replacement Cost    $_______________

Insurance Coverage (if any) $__________________

1.    Which utilities are not working?

Telephone_______  Water______ Electricity ______

2.    How high was the water in most of the houses? ______ feet.

Was the water: slow rising ___ fast rising ___rapid current___ fresh ___salt _______?

 Did it contain: sewage ______ chemicals ______?

3.    What are the types of home construction?

Wood frame__________

Concrete _______


4.    Did you notice mud, silt and/or debris in and out around many of the homes? 

Yes _______ No _______

5.    What types of small businesses were affected? Warehouses ____

       retail trade             ____

       Other                    ____

6.    Give the names and locations of damaged factories or large businesses which appear to employ more than 10 people.

7.    Did you find there was debris, silt or erosion to farm and damage to fences, loss of livestock, poultry or crops? Yes ______ No ______

8.    List any unusual conditions or other comments you feel would be helpful in understanding the nature and extent of damage in the area you assessed.  












The purpose of this guide is to assist the Department Heads and local government officials in coordinating their efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). After a Presidential declaration of major disaster or emergency, federal assistance under PL 93-288 will be available to the American Samoa Government.

The American Samoa Government will utilize all its internal resources, to cope with disaster, and will request, federal assistance at such time as effective response is beyond the capability of the Government.

In part, the guide contains materials extracted from various disaster assistance documents. It should not be considered a substitute for official laws, rules and regulations such as those cited in the Reference and Authorities section of the Disaster Assistance Plan. Hud Handbooks 3300.5 and 3300.6 and Forms therein will be utilized for all references in this guide.


The State Coordinating Officer (SCO) orders a damage assessment as soon as possible after the onset of a disaster and reports the results to the Governor. Instructions for Damage Assessment and Reporting are contained in Annex F.


When a determination is made to request a presidential disaster on emergency declaration, the SCO will prepare the request, (Tabs 2 or 3) in message form addressed to the President through the Regional Director, FEMA. This message will be confirmed by official letter request within twenty-four hours. As part of a Major Disaster request, an Individual and Family Grant Program and/or Temporary Housing Assistance Program may be specified. Within seven days after a Major Disaster declaration the SCO will request approval from FEMA (Tab 4) to implement the approved administrative plans for the Individual and Family Grant Program and/or Temporary Housing Assistance Program in the disaster area.


The Territory has a standing agreement with the Federal Government (Tab 5) which contains the terms and conditions under which federal assistance will be provided. For each presidential declaration an amendment would be drawn up detailing the specifics for that particular occurrence. (Tab 6)


1.    Individual Assistance

a.     Individual Assistance Provided after an Emergency Declaration by the President. Providing assistance to individuals begins when the need is identified and prior to any declaration. It is the responsibility of the Territorial Government assisted by voluntary relief organizations. The FEMA will provide or reimburse the Territory for mass care (medical care, emergency shelter and emergency provisions of food, water and medicine) only if the Regional Director of FEMA determines that relief organizations are not providing the necessary items or not providing them in sufficient quantities.

b.    Individual Assistance provided after a Major Disaster Declaration by the President. The possible mass care assistance will be available as outlined above. In addition, the Individual and Family Grant Program, and the Temporary Housing Program Assistance may be provided by FEMA. The administrative plans for these two types of assistance included as Annexes I & J of the Disaster Assistance Plan.

2.    Public Assistance

a.     Public Assistance provided after an Emergency Declaration by the President. Assistance may be provided by Federal agencies when requested by the SCO acting as the Governor's authorized representative. Such assistance may be technical or may be in the form of advisory personnel to assist local government in the performance of essential community services, warning of further risks and hazards, public information and assistance in health and safety measures.

       Assistance may also be provided through Federal agencies by making equipment, supplies, facilities, personnel and other resources available to Territorial agencies and local governments. This also includes the donation or fencing of surplus Federal equipment and supplies.

       Emergency work commences as soon as the need is identified and prior to any declaration. It is normally performed by Territorial or local personnel. Eligible work (Tab-1) performed will be reimbursed by FEMA after an Emergency declaration.

       FEMA may provide emergency debris clearance limited to that necessary to save lives, protect property, public health and safety. Such assistance includes clearing debris from roads and facilities as necessary for the performance of emergency tasks and for the restoration of essential services. FEMA may provide reimbursement for emergency protective measures such as search and rescue, demolition of unsafe structures, warning of further risk and hazard and other actions necessary to remove or reduce immediate threats to public health and safety of public or private property when it is in the public interest. FEMA may provide funds for a feeding program for the population of a disaster area when the situation is such that the means for growing and harvesting have been temporarily disrupted or have been destroyed. This is considered a protective measure.

       FEMA may provide reimbursement for restorative emergency repairs to essential utilities and other essential facilities as necessary to provide for their continued operations, ie., such work as emergency bridge work, emergency road detours, utilities tie-ins and emergency building repairs. FEMA may provide temporary communications during or in anticipation of and emergency or major disaster and may make them available to Territory officials on a temporary basis until essential emergency communications needs of the community are met.

       Reimbursement may be provided for the cost of emergency public transportation to government offices, supply centers, stores, post offices, schools, major employment centers and such other places as may be necessary in order to enable the community to resume its normal pattern of life in the affected area;     

b.    Public Assistance provided after a Major Disaster Declaration by the President. In addition to the assistance provided after an Emergency declaration, PL 93-288 provides that upon a declaration of a Disaster the Federal Government may pay the emergency costs as well as make contributions to help repair, restore, reconstruct or replace damaged public facilities, including the public facilities under construction at the time of the major disaster. They may also make grants to help repair, restore, reconstruct or replace private non-profit education, utility, emergency, medical and custodial facilities (including those for the aged or disabled) damaged or destroyed by a major disaster.

       Public Law 93-288 authorizes the President to make loans to any government which has suffered  substantial loss of tax and other revenues as a result of a major disaster.

       Loans will be based on need and shall not exceed 25% or the annual operating budget of government for the fiscal year in which the major disaster occurred. 

c.     Direct Federal Assistance, i.e., Work Performed by Federal Personnel (After either an emergency or major disaster declaration). If, in unusual circumstances, it is beyond the capability of the American Samoa Government to do or to contract for emergency work after an emergency or major disaster declaration, the Territory may request direct Federal assistance. In such cases, there are no financial transactions. Request procedures are in Hud Handbooks 3300.5 and 3300.6. The request must be submitted to the FEMA within 30 days following an Emergency declaration or within 90 days following a Major Disaster declaration. The American Samoa Government is responsible to assist performing Federal agencies in all support and local logistical matters in the same manner as a private owner would in his relationship to a performing contractor. These matters would include the securing of local building permits and rights of entry, control of traffic in the interest of safety and public welfare and other matters relating to compliance with local building or construction laws  and ordinances.

       The American Samoa Government must accept the design before work is initiated and must signify acceptance of completed work at the time of the joint final inspection. It provides without cost to the Federal government all land, easements and rights-of-way necessary to accomplish the approved work and must agree to indemnify the Federal government against any claims arising from the work.

d.    Long-Term Economic Recovery Assistance: FEMA provides additional assistance for the economic recovery, after the period of emergency aid and replacement of essential facilities and services, of any Major Disaster area which has suffered a disruption of its economy of sufficient severity to require (1) assistance in planning for development to replace that lost in the major disaster; (2) continued coordination of assistance available under Federal aid programs; and (3) continued assistance toward the restoration of an employment base. Additional assistance may be provided for disaster recovery planning, public works and development facilities grants and loans, loan guarantees and technical assistance. The need for such additional assistance will be determined by the Department of Public Safety.

e.     Public Assistance Project Management. The Director of Public Works is responsible for project management, contracting in the name of the ASG, and contract management of all work performed under categorical or flexible funding arrangements. He is responsible for management of projects to remove timber from private lands where it is in the public interest to do so. lie may reimburse owners who remove such timber under contract for the actual removal expenses not to exceed the amount such expenses exceed the salvage value of the timber removed. Through the SCO, he requests Federal equipment, if required, to be used in disaster recovery work and is responsible for its distribution and use.  


1.    General. Eligible applicants include the entire Territory of American Samoa.

2.    Private Non-Profit Facilities (May be approved for Categorical Grant only). Evidence is required that the non-governmental agency or entity has app1ied for and currently has in effect from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service a ruling letter granting tax exemption under Section 501 (c), (d) or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. 

3.    Project Applications.

a.    Emergency Declaration. On behalf of the applicant, the Commissioner of Public Safety, (the Governor’s authorized representative) submits project applications for emergency work. Attached must be a resolution which appoints him as agent for Governor. Emergency work can be under any of the categories (A thru I) described in paragraph 9 below. Project applications must be submitted to FEMA within 30 days following the declaration.

b.    Major Disaster Declaration. Project applications for emergency and permanent work under a Major Disaster declaration must be submitted to FEMA within 90 days after the declaration.

4.     Categorical Grant. A grant is based on applicant performing work approved in the project application. It is used for:

a.    Debris clearance and emergency work if approved amount of the project application is $25,000 or more.

b.    All facilities under construction, and

c.    All private non-profit facilities.

5.    Grant-in-Lieu Projects (Categorical Grants Only). lf an applicant wishes to construct a larger or more elaborate replacement in lieu of authorized work, he may apply for grant equal to what estimated to repair or replace the predisaster structure. Separate requests wi1l be submitted for each such grant.

6.    Flexible Funding. An applicant may elect to receive, in lieu of a categorical grant, a contribution based on 90% of the Federal estimate of the total cost of repairing, restoring.  Reconstructing or replacing all damaged public facilities owned by it within its jurisdictions. Funds may be expended either to repair or restore certain selected projects damaged as a result of a Major Disaster or to construct new facilities which the applicant determines to be necessary to meet his need for governmental services or functions in the disaster area. Regional Director, FEMA, must approve projects for flexible funding.

7.    Small Project Applications (In-Lieu Contributions). If the total estimated cost for one applicant for debris clearance, emergency and permanent work is less than $25,000, 100% in-lieu funding is mandatory. Should a supplement be filed which makes the total amount $25,000 or more, the entire grant reverts to categorical.

8.    Time Limitations. Time limitations for Federal assistance for public projects begin at the time of declaration of an Emergency or Major Disaster and shall terminate upon expiration of these prescribed time periods: 

                        Initiation           Completion

                        Deadline           Deadline

a.          Debris Clearance                       

            30 days            180 days

b.         Emergency Measures               

            30 days            180 days

c.          Permanent Restoration Project                                       18 months

(Regional Director, FEMA, may require a completion schedule for his approval).

Project Applications (Major Disaster) must be submitted within 90 days of declaration.

Project Applications (Emergency) must be submitted within 30 days of declaration.

9.    Categories of Eligible Work.

Category A - Debris Clearance 

Category B - Protective Measures

Category C - Road Systems

Category D - Water Control Facilities

Category E - Public Buildings and Related -Equipment

Category F - Public Utilities

Category G - Facilities under Construction Category H -Private, NonProfit Facilities.

Category I - Other (Not in above Categories) Cost eligibility guidelines are at TAB G-l.

10.  Supplements Covering New Projects or Changes in Scope. Supplements to project applications for additional line items of work, or if it is found necessary to increase the scope of work in an approved line item, will be prepared using Form HUD 483. Submission must be within 90 days after declaration of a Major Disaster or within 30 days after an Emergency Declaration             

11.  Supplements to Cover Costs in Excess of FEMA Approval on a Categorical Grant. If in performing the work as approved by FEMA, it is found that the actual cost of a line item will exceed FEMA approval or the total cost for all line items will exceed the amount approved in the project application, Commissioner of Public Safety, the applicant’s agent, submits a supplement as soon as the information is available using Form HUD 483 including the following:

a.    The exact work performed or to be performed

b.    The cost as originally approved

c.    The actual cost of each project with a list showing materials, quantity, unit prices, etc., and

d.    The reasons for the increase


1.    Form HUD 481. This form is to be used for the detailed listing of expenditures incurred for eligible work approved in the application. The list of expenditures must be shown by the categories and line items that appear in the approved application. This is necessary in order that the claimed costs can be identified and compared to the related line item amounts approved in the application. All items of expense claimed are to be listed individually, with the exception of payrolls, which can be shown in sum for each pay period; and agency owned equipment, which can be summarized by type, total number of hours used, rates and amount, if approved rental rates are used.

2.    Form HUD 482. The FEMA requires that this blanket certificate accompany all claims filed under this program. The form is completed, signed and forwarded to FEMA by the Commissioner of Public Safety, the applicant’s agent.

3.    Charges for Applicant-Owned Equipment. Costs for the use of applicant-owned equipment may be claimed based on the following:

a.    A rate schedule furnished by FEMA for the use of equipment utilized during disaster operations. The schedule covers all costs eligible under PL 93-288 for ownership and operation of publicly owned equipment except labor costs of operators. The schedule does not cover insurance, equipment shelter, overhead and administration.

b.    Submission to the Commissioner of a list of equipment not included on the FEMA schedule, giving the make, model, horsepower capacity and cost of the equipment. The Commissioner of Public Safety will request an allowable rate for items not on FEMA lists from the FEMA Regional Director, request for equipment rates, if required, must be made prior to approval of the project application.

       It is not required that supporting documentation, i.e., invoices, payrolls, etc, accompany the claim. However, the records and documents supporting the claim must be retained for audit by the Territorial and Federal Governments. When preparing a claim, include all eligible items of expenditures approved in the project application, even though the total amount may exceed the amount approved by FEMA. In the event of any audit disallowance’s, it may be possible to substitute other claimed and eligible costs, up to the maximum of the approved application.

       The balance due will be paid after final determination of the eligible costs is verified by Federal desk or on-site audit.

       All work approved in the application must be completed within the time period allowed from the date of the President’s declaration of a Major Disaster. Claims must be submitted to SCO as soon as possible after all work has been completed and all bills are paid; but not later than 15 days after the close of the time period as provided for under FEMA regulations.


The Director of Public Works requests, through SCO, Federal equipment when it is needed. He is responsible for managing and distributing such equipment when it is furnished in response to a request.


Soon after the declaration of a Major Disaster, the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) and his staff will proceed to the disaster area. The staff includes a Public Assistance Officer, an Individual Assistance Officer, and Federal engineers and inspectors to accomplish jointly with Territorial representatives detailed Damage Survey Reports. The SCO will proceed to the disaster area to work with the FEMA teams. The ECO will coordinate all relief acting into the disaster area including Territorial and local government relief activities.

In a joint FCO/SCO briefing, eligible applicants are given detailed guidance on damage survey and project application procedures, FEMA eligibility requirements for emergency and permanent work and funding operations for approved work. All inquiries concerning Federal assistance should be made to the SCO and/or FCO.


The completed Damage Survey Reports (DSR) are signed by Territorial and Federal representatives on-site They are forwarded (4 copies and carbons plus attachments) to the SCO for processing. The DSR is the basis for the Project Application. 

1.    The SCO accomplishes necessary reproduction of DSRs and attachments and distributes them as follows:

1st Copy - Financial Management, FEMA

2nd Copy - FEMA Regional Office

3rd Copy - Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO)

4th Copy - Applicant concerned

5th Copy - is reproduced in most cases and it is for the Federal Agency who conducted the detailed damage survey under FEMA direction.

2.    The SCO prepares the Project Application attaching all DSRs. Private non-profit facilities are Filed under a separate Project Application by the SCO acting as authorized agent for the applicant or entity owning the damaged facilities.

3.    The Governor’s Authorized Representative signs the Project Application. By doing so, he assures that the Territory will require that the applicant comply with the agreements and assurances on the reverse side of the Project Application or that the Territory will assume responsibility to the Federal government for any deficiencies not resolved to the satisfaction of the FEMA.

4.    On the assumption that the Project Application will be approved, the SCO prepares a Chart of Accounts and distributes one copy to the Director of the  Department of Treasury for his file, and retains one copy in the SCO office file.

5.    The SCO develops the project file based on the approved DSR. The file is segregated by category of eligible disaster-work as provided in the HUD Handbook for Applicant (3300.5). 

6.    The SCO develops formats for the approved project and fund status reports which are to be submitted monthly by the Director of Public Works for public assistance projects and the program manager for individual assistance projects.


1.    Individual Assistance (408 & 404 Programs)

a.     The SCO insures efficient administration of the Individual Assistance programs. He sees to it that required weekly reports to FEMA are made and established deadlines for program completion are met.

b.    He monitors disbursement process and insures that funds are always available for disbursement.

c.     He conducts mid-program and final review in coordination with FEMA.

d.    He coordinates required Territorial audit of the programs and provides Federal audit result to FEMA. 

e.     He is responsible for considering appeals of Administrative Panel decision.

f.     He insures that the Individual and Family Grant verification sampling (5%) is made by the Grant Coordinating Officer. 

g.     He prepares and submits a final statistical report and voucher claim.

2.    Public Assistance Program

a.    The SCO monitors approved projects and provides FEMA status reports.

b.    He insures proper accountability of Federal fund advances.

c.    He coordinates scheduling of interim and final inspections of completed work with FEMA.

d.    He coordinates and arranges required Territorial audit and submission of final audit report and claim.


The SCO insures that Federal funds are always available for public and individual assistance programs.

The following actions are taken to accomplish this. 

1.    He prepares and makes requests for advance of funds from FEMA utilizing the Request for Advance of Funds form. He bases his request on estimated expenditures for the next sixty days and forwards his request to the. Regional Director, FEMA.

2.    As soon as the advance check is received, he will turn it over to the Treasurer for deposit to the Office of Treasury.

3.    He then prepares a Fund Authorization in original and two copies, distributed as follows:

Original to Finance Officer (Treasurer)

One copy for Accounting

One copy retained in SCO file

Fund Authorizations are numbered by SCO.


Complaints of discrimination and complaints by and against contractors will be forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General. He investigates all such complaints and acts in accordance with his findings.



A.   General. Only certain costs incurred in emergencies or in major disaster operations are eligible for reimbursement. The following paragraphs describe those specific items which are clearly eligible or clearly ineligible. The summary of documentation should be submitted accordingly. 

B.    Salaries, Wages and Administrative Expenses.

1.    Eligible. Salaries and wages (including overtime) of regular and extra employees of the applicant directly engaged in the performance of eligible disaster work, except as noted below. However, only gross salaries and wages will be reimbursed and the applicant will be responsible for all other payroll costs.

2.    Ineligible.

a.    Regular salaries of regularly employed policemen and firemen and of other employees whose duties do not change because of the disaster, such’ as levee patrollers, pumping plant operators and building inspectors.

b.    Administrative expenses including:

(1)   Salaries, wages and expenses of Territorial and local officials who are responsible for directing regular governmental activities.

(2)   Salaries, wages, fees and expenses of individuals or firms while engaged in the preparation and processing of project applications, claims for payment and supporting documentation, including costs of damage estimates.

(3)   Related legal fees

(4)   Office supplies and equipment

(5)   Rent

(6)   Telephone and telegraph expenses

(7)   Interest charges

(8)   Employer’s share of payroll additives over and above the employee’s gross pay.

C.    Cost for Equipment, Supplies and Materials.

1.    Eligible.

a.     Costs for materials and supplies consumed in eligible disaster work, including those procured by direct purchase or taken from applicant’s stock.

b.    Rental costs of privately owned equipment used in performing eligible disaster work, provided rental rates are comparable to the going rates for the same or similar equipment in the locality.

c.     Costs incurred in the operation of applicant owned  equipment,  or publicly owned equipment used by an applicant, in eligible disaster work. Such costs will be based on the FEMA Schedule of Approved Equipment Rates of a Public Entity. A schedule may be obtained from the FEMA FCO for the usual types of equipment used during disaster operations. This schedule has been developed from historical records for costs of owning and operating equipment throughout the country. The schedule covers all costs eligible under PL 93-288 for ownership and operation of publicly owned equipment except labor cost of operators. It includes depreciation, all repairs, fuel, lubricants, tires and other operating costs of a similar nature. The schedule does not cover insurance, equipment shelter, overhead and administrative costs. If an applicant uses equipment which is not listed on the above schedule, he should submit the make, model, horsepower and original cost of the equipment to the Regional Director who will furnish the allowable rate.

2.    Ineligible.  

a.     Costs for transportation equipment utilized by police and other employees whose duties do not change because of the disaster are not eligible.

b.    Costs of hand tools (shovels, handsaws. hammers, etc.) personal equipment and protective clothing used in performing eligible work.

c.     Charges for insurance, storage, overhead and administrative costs.

D.    Costs for Work Performed by Contract.

1.    Eligible. Reasonable costs for work performed by private contractors on eligible projects contracted for in accordance with Territorial or local statutes, If competitive bidding procedures were not followed, justification will be required as part of the documentation accompanying the voucher.

2.    Ineligible.

a.     Costs incurred under contracts based on cost plus a percentage of cost basis, except when approved by the Department.

b.    Costs incurred under contracts based on contingency clauses. No contract entered into by an applicant for disaster work or services under the Act shall contain a provision which makes the payment for such work contingent upon reimbursement under the Act.

c.     Costs incurred under contracts performed by contractors whose names appear on the HUD Consolidated List of Debarred, Suspended and Ineligible Contractors will not be reimbursed unless it has been determined by the FEMA Administrator, on an individual contract basis, that it is in the best interest of the Government.

E.    Costs for Work Performed by Arrangement between Government Agencies.

1.    Eligible. Costs for work performed under arrangements between political subdivisions, but limited to the direct costs of the performing political subdivision, which would be eligible if the applicant had performed the work. Appropriate work supervision and recordkeeping by the applicant and the performing political subdivision are necessary to identify eligible work and to provide auditable records specifically relating costs to each item of eligible work.

2.    Ineligible. Costs for work performed under arrangements between the Territory or Territorial political subdivision and a Federal Agency, except where approved by Regional Director of FEMA.

F.    Costs for Lands, Easements and Rights-of-Way. All costs incurred for lands, easements or rights-of-way are ineligible, except in unusual circumstances involving relocation of a facility when approved by the FEMA Administrator.

G.   Cost for work performed by service, fraternal and other similar organizations which do not normally contract their services for disaster relief.

1.    Eligible. Only out-of-pocket costs for equipment, materials and supplies used or consumed in the performance of eligible work. This could include the FEMA rate for operating group members’ equipment.

2.    Ineligible. Wages or salaries of member personnel engaged in disaster relief activities.

H.    Prison Labor.

1.    Eligible. Out-of-pocket costs to an eligible applicant of prison labor performing eligible disaster work, including the amount paid the prisoners in accordance with rates established prior to the disaster, and the cost of transportation.

2.    Ineligible. Costs of food, lodging and guards. Also, any costs for prison labor utilized by a contractor.

I.     Costs for Vector Control and Fixed Pumping Operations.

1.    Eligible. Costs which are not a normal recurring item on an annual basis. When such costs are a normal recurring item, excess of such costs (including FEMA equipment rates) over the average cost for the same period of time during the previous three years will be considered eligible. Eligibility criteria shall be in accordance with paragraphs A through H above. For permanently installed pumping equipment, the applicant may be required by the Regional Director of FEMA to submit additional information on the pumping operation.

2.    Ineligible. Any repairs of fixed pumping equipment required as a result of pumping operations.



The President

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20530



Regional Director

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Region IX, Bldg. 105

Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129

Dear Mr. President:

I respectfully request that you declare that a major disaster exists in the __________________________________________ District, Territory of American Samoa, under the provisions of the Disaster Relief Act ) of 1974, Public Law 93-288.

During the period _______________, (description of event, e.g., severe storms) caused extensive damage to public and private property in (District). (Specifics as to severity and magnitude of the damage to include numbers of dead, injured and evacuated, number of homes and businesses destroyed or severely damaged, damage of facilities rendering essential public services, damage to road and transportation systems, damage to farms and crops, etc.) Total damage estimates at this time are:

Public - $          ,

Private - $____ ,

Agriculture- $______________

On _________________, I directed the execution of the Territory of American Samoa Disaster Plan in accordance with Sec. 301 of the Law. Territorial and local efforts in response to this disaster situation have been as follows: (Describe efforts in specific terms of material and personnel committed or to be committed.)

I find that the situation is beyond the capabilities of the Territory and the________(District)_______ to effectively alleviate the existing situation in that (specific statement of current shortcomings of local and Territorial resources in terms of funds, material and technical/managerial personnel).

Pursuant to Section 301 of the Law and Federal Disaster Emergency Management Agency Regulations, I certify that the total of expenditures and obligations for this disaster for which no Federal reimbursement will be requested are expected to exceed $_______________ in accordance with the following (attached) table.

I have made direct requests for assistance under other statutory authorities on the following Federal agencies with their responses as indicated. (Itemized statement of such requests: e.g., COE for emergency flood fighting assistance, provided __________ pumps, __________ sandbags and technical personnel.)

I specifically request (I do not request) assistance under provisions of Section 408 of the Law to establish an Individual and family Grant Program in the affected area. (If not requested, omit the following.)

I estimate the total cost of the program(s) will amount to $  Territorial funds for the required 25% of this cost are available (or have been requested of the Legislature of American Samoa and are expected to be appropriated by (date) or are not immediately available and I request an advance from Federal funds under the provisions of Section 408(b) of the Law). My plan for administration of this program is attached (will be submitted by) ________(date)

I further request other Federal assistance of the following types: (Indicate specific types of assistance authorized under the law. Attach table of estimated costs broken out by category of public and individual assistance).

I request that the following District (or portion thereof) be designated as eligible for this Federal assistance under your declaration: (List specific areas.)

Additional considerations which support the necessity for Federal assistance in (previous disasters in the same locale, economically depressed area, etc.) the same locale, economically depressed area, etc.)






The President

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500


Mr. Regional Director

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Region IX, Bldg. 105

Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129

Dear Mr. President:

I respectfully request that you declare an emergency to exist in the Territory of American Samoa under the provisions of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Public Law 93-288.

The emergency situation has resulted from (location and descriptions of the event or threatened event which created the emergency. Specifics as to the severity and magnitude of the damage or threatened damage to include numbers of individuals, homes, businesses, other property and facilities essential to public health and safety affected or threatened).

On ____________ I directed the execution of the emergency plan of the Territory of American Samoa.  Local and Territorial efforts in response to this emergency situation have been (are planned) as follows: (Describe efforts in specific terms of funds, material and personnel committed or to be committed.)

I find that the situation is beyond the capabilities of the affected local government and the Territory  effectively alleviate the existing (or threatened) emergency situation in that: (Specific statement of shortcomings of local and Territorial resources in teniis of funds, material and technical/managerial personnel)

I have made direct requests for assistance under other statutory authorities on the following Federal agencies with their response as indicated: (Itemized statement of such requests; e.g., Corps of Engineers for emergency flood fighting assistance,

provided ____________ pumps, ____________ sandbags and ________________ (technical personnel)

I request that the following specific types of (additional) Federal assistance provided for a period ______________ days for the purposes indicated: (Specific statements of type and purpose of Federal assistance required e.g., technical assistance or advice in reestablishing power supply, inspection of food supplies, vector control, management of temporary housing program, specific equipment for specific projects such as so many boats for evacuation, so many generators for emergency power, heavy equipment for debris removal to open specified essential routes, temporary bridging for specified essential crossing, specific emergency projects to be completed under Federal direction, Federal funding. of, specific emergency projects or activities; numbers of temporary housing units for Territorial, local government or voluntary agency administered housing program.)

I request that the following District be designated as eligible to receive this Federal assistance as may be appropriate to the situation existing in that area.

Additional considerations which support the necessity for Federal assistance are: (previous disasters in same locale, economically depressed area, etc.) in this emergency situation 






Regional Director

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Region IX, Bldg. 105

Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129

Dear Mr.

Pursuant to my request to the President through you for a major disaster declaration,

I hereby request that assistance authorized under Section 408 (Individual and Family Grant Program) Disaster Relief Act of 1974 be made available.

I have determined that assistance under the Act and from other means will not be sufficient to meet the disaster-related necessary expenses or serious needs of approximately ________________ to ________ families. This estimate is based on reports provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety.

In the implementation of this grant program, I certify that the Territory of American Samoa will implement an approved administrative plan and that the grant program will be made available throughout the major disaster area designated by the President I have directed Mr. Commissioner of Public Safety, who will serve as my authorized representative, to maintain close coordination with your office and provide you reports as you may require.

Total funding for grants to individuals and families under this program is estimated to be $_________ of which $_____ will be the Federal share and $_________ will be the Territory share. All Federal grant funds and all funds from Territory sources will

be specifically identified in the accounts of the Territory.

Since no appropriated funds are available at this time, the Territory is unable to meet the 25 percent share and I request that $ ___________ be advanced by the Federal government to cover both the Federal and Territorial shares. In order to repay this advance, I will as the Legislature of American Samoa in their next regular session for an appropriation of funds, and will repay this advance as soon as funds become available. I anticipate that this advance will be repaid by ____________ I agree to return, immediately upon discovery, all Federal funds advanced to meet the Territory’s 25 percent share which exceed actual requirements.

Sincerely yours,



Attachment:      Individual and Family Grant Administrative Plan


Honorable Governor

Territory of America Samoa

Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

Dear Governor

This letter is the basic continuing Federal-Territorial Agreement for emergencies

(hereinafter referred to as the Agreement) pursuant to Sections 301 (a) and 305, Pubic-

Law 93-288, Executive Order 1795 and Part 2205 of the Federal Emergency

Management Agency Regulations, Title 24 CFR. Copies of Public Law 93-288 and Title 24, CFR, Part 2205, and TAD G-l, Federal Financial Assistance, are attached hereto and made a part hereof.

Requests for emergency assistance shall be made by the Governor of the Territory of

American Samoa to the President, through the Regional Director of the Federal

Emergency Management Agency, HUD, Region IX (hereinafter referred to as the Regional Director). The Governor’s request shall be based up6n a finding that the situation is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities the Territory and the affected local government and that Federal assistance is necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety or to avert or lessen the threat of a disaster. The Governor’s request will furnish information describing Territory and local efforts and resources to include dollar amounts, which have been or will be used to alleviate the emergency, including that for which no Federal funding will be requested, and will define the particular type and specific extent of Federal aid required, as well as the expected duration of such assistance. Upon the declaration of an emergency, this information will be incorporated into an amendment for the emergency. 

Upon a determination by the President that an emergency exists which warrants Federal assistance, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall immediately initiate action to provide Federal assistance under such determination and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and this Agreement. The emergency area in which assistance is authorized shall be determined by the Administrator based on the Territory’s request 

An amendment to this agreement shall be executed by the Governor and the Regional Director for each emergency to designate Territorial Certification Officers, indicate area eligible for Federal disaster assistance, specify the incidence period, and identify any specifics peculiar to the current emergency. Subsequent supplements to the amendment for the same emergency may be executed by the Governor’s Authorized Representative and the Regional Director. A new continuing agreement will be executed if there is a change in Governors or Regional Director.

In the event that funds are to be transferred to the Territory for emergency relief purposes, the Territory and its political subdivisions agree to the following: In the event that the Territory or local government violates any of the conditions imposed upon emergency assistance under Public Law 93-288, this Agreement, or applicable Federal regulations, the Administrator will notify the Territory that additional financial assistance for the purpose of the project in connection with which the violation occurred will be withheld until each violation has been corrected. Provided, however, that if the Administrator, get such notice to the Territory, is not satisfied with the corrective measures taken to comply with his notification, the Administrator will notify the Territory that further financial assistance will be withheld for the project’s for which it has been determined that a violation exists, or for all or any portion of financial assistance which has been or is to be made available to the Territory or local governments for the purpose of emergency assistance under the provisions of publication 288; this Ateefliefit,  applicable Federal Regulations.

No member of or Delegate to Congress, or Resident Commissioner, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Agreement, or to any benefit to arise thereupon; provided, however, that this provision shall not be construed to extend to any contract made with a corporation for its general benefit.

The Territory will establish and maintain an active Territorial program under this agreement of non-discrimination in disaster assistance, as outlined in Part 2205.13, Title 24 CFR. This program will encompass all Territorial and local actions pursuant to this Agreement.

Reimbursements to a Territory for eligible emergency costs will be based on the submission of project applications and vouchers supported by a detailed breakdown of eligible costs.


The Territory will notify all Territorial and local agencies and local governments within the areas defined by each amendment of the terms and conditions agreed to herein, including but not limited to eligibility for Federal Assistance, and time limitations.



Regional Director

Federal Emergency Management Agency 

Region IX



____________________           ___________

Governor                                  Date




Territory of American Samoa

Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

Dear Governor

This letter is the Federal-Territorial Disaster Assistance Agreement for a Major Disaster, No. FEMA  under Public Law 93-288, in accordance with Section 2205.44 of the Federal Disaster Assistance Regulations. A copy of the Regulations and TAB G-l, Federal Financial Assistance and TAB G-2, Territorial Certification Officers, are attached hereto and make a part hereof. 

On        (Date) , President determined that damages resulting from _____________ beginning about (Date) have caused a major disaster in the Territory and acknowledge receipt of American Samoa or other public agencies thereof are expected to expend in excess of $____ _____________ for disaster relief purposes for which no Federal reimbursement has been or will be received, in accordance with the table contained in your request. A copy of your request is attached hereto as TAB G-3, and made a part hereof.

Federal assistance will be as authorized by Public Law 93-288, and will be made available in accordance with Executive Order 11795 and the Regulations attached hereto.             

No project application will be approved for assistance unless the damage to be alleviated was a result of the major disaster which took place from   (date)  through and including (date)

In the event that funds are to be transferred to the Territory of American Samoa for disaster relief purposes, the Territory agrees to the following: In the event that the American Samoa Government or its political subdivisions, violates any of the conditions imposed upon disaster relief assistance under Public Law 93-288, this Agreement, or applicable Federal Regulations, the Administrator will notify the Territory that additional financial assistance for the purpose of the project in connection with which the violation occurred will be withheld until such violation has been corrected. Provided, however, that the Administrator, after such notice to the Territory, is not satisfied with the corrective measures taken to comply with this notification, the Administrator will notify the Territory that fuilber financial assistance will be withheld for the project for which it has been determined that a violation exists, or for all or any portion of financial assistance which has been determined that a violation exists, or for all or any portion of financial assistance which has been or is to be made available to the Territory for the purpose of disaster relief assistance under the provisions of Public Law 93-288, this Agreement, or applicable Federal Regulations.

No member of or Delegate to Congress, or Resident Governor, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Agreement, nor to any benefit to arise thereupon; provided, however, that this provision shall not construe to extend to any contract made with a corporation for its general befit.

The Territorial Officers authorized to execute certifications and otherwise to act on behalf of the Territory are listed in TAB G-2, which is attached hereto and made a part hereof. 

Federal assistance extended under Public Law 93-288 and this Agreement shall be limited to the Territory of American Samoa and such additional areas as may be subsequently designated by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Territory will establish and maintain an active Territorial program under this agreement of nondiscrimination in disaster assistance, outlined in Part 2205.13, Title 24, CFR. This program -will encompass all Territorial and local actions pursuant to this Agreement

The Territory will establish and maintain in a program under this Agreement to assure that recipients of

FEMA disaster assistance comply with 24 CIER Part 24, Debarment, Suspension and Ineligibility of

Contractors and Grantees. This program will encompass all Territorial and local contracts pursuant to this Agreement.

The Territory will notify all Department agencies, and local governments within the areas defined by the Agreement of the time limitations agreed herein and the terms and conditions of eligibility for Federal assistance.

This Agreement may be amended at any time by written approval of both parties.



Regional Director 

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Department of Housing and

Urban Development

Region IX



___________________ __________

Governor                      Date































This annex establishes the organization and procedures for rapid and convenient assistance to disaster victims through the use of a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC). 


After a major disaster declaration has been  requested by the Governor and declared by the President, a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) is appointed. The FCO represents the President in the disaster area and is responsible for the coordination of all Federal disaster assistance. He works closely with the State Coordinating Officer (SCO) to assure effective implementation of assistance programs. Included on the FCO’s staff is the Individual Assistance Officer. The Individual Assistance Officer is directly responsible to the FCO for all matters relating to Individual assistance, including the establishment, location and operation of Disaster Assistance Center and appropriate Mobile Teams. The SCO is responsible for identifying conveniently located buildings, which are suitable for this activity. In the event a mobile team is required, the SCO will arrange suitable transportation for the team to the areas of operation. When necessary, Aiga buses will be utilized to transport the disaster victims to the Center or mobile team sites.


A.   Location Normally one DAC will be established in the Bay Area on the island of Tutuila. The Lee Auditorium has been tentatively identified for this purpose. However, depending upon emergency housing needs at the time, other facilities such as the Samoan High School, the Pago Pago Gymnasium, or the Adult Education Center should be considered.  If disaster damage is widespread, and includes the

       Manu’a Islands group, a mobile team will also be necessary or Manu’a High School Building, depending upon the emergency at the time. The ECO in close coordination with the SCO will select the location for the Center and arrange necessary schedules and site visits for the Mobile Team.       

B.    Equipment; Once the location has been selected, the SCO will request furniture (tables, desks, chairs, typewriters, etc.) and provide office supplies (paper, pens; pencils, etc:) necessary for operation of the Center and/or mobile team sites. The Office of Procurement will provide the furniture and arrange the floor plan as necessary.

C.    Construction. Any temporary construction or building modification essential for Center operations will be accomplished by the Department of Public Works. This will be only upon the request and authorization of the SCO.

D.   Support Personnel. Secretarial and Clerical assistance will be provided by the Department of Administrative Services. Legal Affairs, Office of Human Resources, Office of Procurement and Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO). Security and Traffic control personnel will be furnished by the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Health will provide a Nurses Aide and first aid station. Personnel for maintaining the waiting area and refreshments will be furnished by the Office of Samoan Affairs. 

E.    Staff Personnel. The Center will be staffed by both Federal and Local officials. The Center Manager and/or Assistant Manager may be selected locally depending upon the availability of skilled personnel.

       The staffing of the Center will include but not necessarily be limited to the following activities:

a.     Emergency needs immediate shelter, food, clothing, medical aid, minor repair home clearing, etc., are provided by personnel from the Red Cross, Churches, and other Private Relief Organizations.       

b.    Temporary Housing will be provided by

       Department of Public Works assisted by available FEMA personnel. This will include the identification and scheduling of emergency minimal repairs to owneroccupied dwellings.

c.     Disaster Unemployment Assistance for those out of work because of the disaster will be provided by the Department of Manpower Resources.

d.    Disaster loans for referencing, repair, rehabilitation or replacement of real and personal property  will be provided by Farmers Home Administration, Department of Agriculture, Small Business Administration.

e.     Tax assistance for computing credits based upon casualty losses will be provided by the Local Office of the Internal Revenue Service.

f.     Veterans Administration benefits, pensions, insurance and adjustments will be handled by the local and regional officials of the VA.

g.     Social Security assistance for recipients in applying for disability,  death or survivor benefits will be provided by the local Social Security Office.

h.    Legal assistance for families unable to afford or secure such service will be provided by the Government of American Samoa Attorney General’s Office and support from Young Lawyers Section of the American Bar Association.

i.     Individual and family grants to meet necessary expenses or serious needs of individuals or families adversely affected by the disaster will be funded by the Federal Government and the Government of American Samoa. The Territory Emergency  Management Coordination Office (TEMCO) as designated by the Governor, has the overall responsibility for administering the IEG program.

j.     Crisis counseling to relieve mental health problems related to the disaster will be provided by the Department of Human Resources.

k.    Debris removal from private property when in the public interest will be accomplished by the Department of Public Works.

1.     Reception and Exit Interview will be accomplished by select  skilled, personnel either Local or Federal as determined by the SCO and the Center Manager.

F.    Activation and Close Down. The Federal Coordinating Officer will determine the necessity for establishing a Disaster Assistance Center and/or Mobile Team sites and coordinate his/her decision with Local government officials. They will prepare a list of agencies to be represented and select the Center Manager.

       Full use will be made of a local communications media. (Radio, T.V., Newspaper. etc.) to ensure widespread distribution of disaster assistance information. Hours of operation, transportation availability, etc. should be thoroughly explained. The use of preselected, alphabetically sequenced processing times, or inline pre-screening of victim’s needs, should be considered.

       The Center Manager will follow the detailed procedure outlined in the Handbook for Disaster Assistance Center Managers, HUD 3300.3 (Rev.) February 1975. He/she will insure that the ECO and SCO are recipients of all reports. The ECO in coordination with the SCO will determine the date for closing the Center. The Center Manager will supervise the close down and prepare the final report in accordance with HUD 3300.3. 



The purpose of this plan is to provide necessary administrative procedures for carrying out the intent of Sec. 404 PL 93-288 as it applies to the residents of American Samoa following a disaster declaration by the President of the United States.


A.   Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-288)

B.    FEMA Regulations 24 CFR 2205.

C.    American Samoa Government Gen. Memo 107-1978.


When the Islands of American Samoa suffer damage to the extent that people are homeless, immediate emergency relief action is essential. In addition to normal relief assistance (search! rescue, medical assistance, food and mass shelter), temporary housing aid may be required. Available unoccupied houses. pre-fabricated buildings, mobile homes or trailer homes may not be sufficient to meet the needs of persons displaced by the disaster in American Samoa. Consequently, reliance upon the basic Samoan AIGA (family) system is necessary. In this way, disaster victims will, whenever possible, be housed by more fortunate members of the AIGA while repair or restoration is made to their homes. In situations of large scale destruction it may be necessary, to lease AIGA GUEST HOUSES, (Family owned, open-sided, structures normally used for council and social affairs) which are undamaged. These buildings can quickly be made habitable for limited periods of time by erecting outside walls and installing rooms and dividers. Approval for use of these GUEST HOUSES will normally be obtained through the Office of Samoan Affairs in negotiation with the Chief of the appropriate AIGA. Subsequent restoration of the GUEST HOUSES will be dependent upon the desires of the AIGA Chief, and should be included in the terms of the lease. Besides the use of guest houses for emergency shelter, there is one other course of action available to the territory for temporary housing. This is the use of schools and churches. Approval for the use of schools will be obtained through the Department of Education. Approval for the use of churches will be obtained through the appropriate village chiefs and minister. Beds, mats, etc. for this housing will be provided by the local office of Red Cross.


A.   Federal Government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will designate a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) to guide and assist the State Coordinating Officer (SCO) in the accomplishment of the purpose of this plan. The Federal Government is responsible for approving housing design or modifications, providing materials, or funding for the procurement of materials based upon the specific housing needs resulting from the disaster. The foregoing is supplementary to relief and assistance actions taken by the American Samoa Government.

B.    American Samoa Government. The designated State Coordinating Officer (SCO) will initiate all actions required to implement this plan. It is the responsibility of the Director, Department of Public Works, to insure that sufficient materials are on hand or readily available to begin immediate repair or restoration to habitable conditions, of owner occupied homes. Typical costs of materials should be prepared and maintained for submission in the event conversion of selected GUEST HOUSES is necessary.

       Guidelines for determination of allowable and worthwhile repair to individual homes will be  established by the Department of Public Works in accordance with FEMA Regulation 24 CFR 2205.45. Damage Assessment Team reports will be correlated with the guidelines for the selection of those homes deemed eligible for immediate restoration. The Governor of American Samoa is the approving authority for all emergency and temporary construction.

       Detailed cost estimates for the temporary housing requirements of each disaster situation will be provided to the SCO by the Director, Department of Public Works. It will be the responsibility of the SCO to include this information in the compilation of data for the Governor’s determination of the existence of a State of Emergency and subsequent request for a Disaster Declaration by the President of the United States.

       American Samoa Government established procedures for construction, inspection, accounting and audit will be utilized by the Department of Public Works for all projects initiated under this plan. Supplemental guidelines will be provided by FEMA as necessary to meet Federal requirements. 


The Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office and the Director of Public Works shall review this plan annually.  




This Plan sets forth the authorities, roles, responsibilities, and procedures within this Territory of American Samoa for implementation of the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) Program under Public Law 93-288, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. This Plan is intended to contain provisions for the administration of the IFG Program in compliance with 44 CFR 205.54 and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) policies. Public Law 93-288 and 44 CFR 205.54 are the primary source documents and guidance for administering the IFG Program. This Plan, as written, coincides with the cited authorities. If any inconsistencies are discovered during the time of program implementation. the law and regulations will pertain.

Where appropriate, specific responsibilities have been assigned to designated agencies and/or individuals within the Territory. These agencies and/or individuals are responsible for developing their implementation procedures and providing sufficient staff to carry out those responsibilities.

Compliance with the Plan and Federal regulations is a condition for payment by FEMA of its share of program costs. Consequently, if agencies and/or individuals identified in the Plan are not prepared to carry out their roles and responsibilities, the Plan may not be approved and program funds cannot be obligated by the FEMA Regional Director. Therefore, all agency heads and other individuals identified herein, are requested to cooperate with the Territory’s Grant Coordinating Officer, and to ensure that the program is implemented, assistance provided, and the program completed in a timely manner.


The purpose of this plan is to establish the administrative procedures and describe the organizational structure for implementing the individual and Family Grant Program (IFGP) subsequent to the “an EMERGENCY or MAJOR DISASTER declaration as requested by the Governor and authorized by the resident”. This Program is intended to meet the disaster-related serious needs and necessary expenses not provided by any other program or insurance.


A.    Public Law 93-288, The Stafford Act 

a.     Section 411 - Individual and Family Grant Program

b.    Section 401 - Procedure for Declaration

c.     Section 308 - Non-Discrimination in Disaster Assistance

d.    Section 31 2 - Duplication of Benefits

e.     Section 313 - Standards are Reviews

f.     Section 314 - Criminal and Civil Penalties.

B.    Public Law 93-234 as amended, Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973

C.    FEMA Regulations, 44 CFR Part 9. Floodplain Management and Protection of wetlands FEMA Regulations. 44 CFR 206.131, IFG FEMA Regulations, 44 CFR Part II, Claims FEMA Regulations, 44 CFR Part 10, Environmental Considerations.

       FEMA Regulations, 44 CFR Part 13, Uniform Administrative Requirements FEMA Regulations, 44 CFR Part 14, Administration of Grants

D.   Government of American Samoa P.L. 15-105. Territorial Disaster Act

E.    Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management

F.    Executive Order 11990) Protection of Wetlands

G.   FEMA Handbook DR & R 18, Individual and Family Grant Program FEMA Handbook DR & R 17, Duplication of Benefits


Following a major disaster declaration by the President, a number of State and Federal Assistance Programs are made available to victims suffering losses or damages in the designated disaster area. One such program is the IFG Program authorized under Section 408, Public Law 93-288, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. The Grant Program authorized by that section provides for direct grants that are seventy-five percent (75%) Federally funded and twenty-five (25%) State funded. The grant award for each individual or family shall not exceed $5,000 for any one disaster. The Governor is responsible for the administration of the Grant Program. The Grant Program is intended to provide funds to disaster victims to permit them to meet those necessary expenses or serious needs for which other governmental assistance is either unavailable or inadequate. The Grant Program is not intended to indemnify all disaster losses or to purchase items or services that may generally be characterized as luxury, recreational, decorative, or nonessential.


A.   “Necessary expense” means the cost of a serious need.

B.    “Serious need” means the requirement for an item or service essential to an individual or family to prevent, mitigate or overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition.

C.    “Family” means a social unit living together and composed of:          

1.    Legally married individuals or those couples living together as if they were married and their dependents; or

2.    A single person and their related dependents; or

3.    Persons who jointly own the residence and their dependents. 

D.   “Individual” means anyone who is not a family, as described above.

E.    “Assistance from other means” means assistance, including monetary or in-kind contributions from other governmental programs, insurance, voluntary or charitable organizations, or from any source other than those of the individual or family. It does not include assistance for expendable items. 

F.    “Expendable items” means consumables as follows: linens, clothes and basic kitchenware (pots, pans, utensils, dinnerware, flatware and small kitchen appliances). 

G.   “Dependent” means someone who is normally claimed as such on the Federal or State tax return of another according to the Internal Revenue Code. It may also mean the minor children of a couple not living together where the children live in the affected residence with the parent who does not actually claim them on the tax return, or any other person or relative living in the affected residence.

H.   “Owner-occupied” means that the residence is occupied by:

1.    The legal owner:

2.    A person who does not hold formal title to the residence but is responsible for payment of taxes, maintenance of the residence and who pays no rent; or

3.    A person who has lifetime occupancy rights in the residence with formal title vested in another:

4.    In States where documentation proving ownership is not recorded or does not exist, the State is required to include in its Administrative Plan a State Attorney General approved set of conditions describing adequate proof of ownership.

I.     “Flowage easement” means an area where the landowner has given the right to overflow, flood, or submerge the land to the government or other entity for a public purpose.

3.    “Federal-Coordinating Officer” (FCO) means the person appointed by the Associate Director, FEMA, to coordinate Federal assistance efforts with those of the State Government.

K.   “State Coordinating Officer” (SCO) means the individual appointed by the Governor to coordinate State and local disaster assistance efforts with those of the Federal Government.

L.    “Administrative Panel” means 1 or more State employees, appointed by the State to determine applicant eligibility for a grant and the grant amount.

M.   “Appeal Authority” means the State appointed person(s) who make decision on appeals by applicants concerning Grant Awards.

N.   “Grant Coordinating Officer” (GCO) means the State official assigned management responsibility for the IFG Program.

0.    “Regional Director” means the Director of the Regional Office of FEMA. P.  “Primary Residence” means a residence:

1.    Where the owner-occupant lives permanently; or

2.    Where the owner-occupant lives on occasionally during the year: or

3.    To which he/she had to occupy for cultural or traditional functions: or

4.    To which he/she had recently moved: or

5.    Which he/she had recently acquired for the purpose of residing.

       NOTE: Recreational, vacation or primarily income producing property does not qualify as a primary residence.


The Territory Emergency Management Coordination Office (TEMCO) is designated by the Governor as the agency having overall responsibility for administering the IFG Program. Other agencies having specific responsibilities in administering the program are identified in this section. ln order to ensure that the program is implemented in a timely and effective manner, these agencies are required to develop the procedures necessary to carry out their responsibilities.

A.    The State Coordinating Officer (SCO) is responsible for coordinating State and local disaster assistance efforts with those of the Federal Government.

1.     The State Coordinating Officer shall:

a.    Coordinate State and local disaster assistance efforts with those of the Federal Government:

b.    Be the principal point of contact for the Federal Coordinating Officer regarding relief activities;

c.    Ensure compliance with the FEMA-State agreement.           

d.    Provide general guidance to all State agencies assigned responsibilities in the State Plan;

e.    Publicize the availability of the IFG Program to potential applicants by:

(1)   Coordinating PIO activities with other agencies and the FCO.

(2)   Providing news releases concerning the IFG Program to local and State newspapers, radio and television stations and publicizing opening and closing dates.

f.     Upon notification by the Grant Coordinating Officer of suspected fraud or misapplication of funds, notify the FEMA Regional Director and initiate a preliminary investigation by the State:

g.    If the results of the preliminary investigation warrant further action, forward the case to the State Attorney General, and forward a copy of the investigation to the Regional Director; and

B.    The Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) shall:

1.    Ensure that Federal and State funds are acquired and made available for grants and authorized administrative expenditures throughout the duration of the Individual and Family Grant Program;

2.    At the initiation of the Individual and Family Grant Program, ensure that Federal shares of advances are accompanied by State shares of advances:

3.    Assure that the State establishes separate accounts for grants and administrative costs: and

4.    Request extensions of time limitations to the Regional Director, when necessary.

C.    The Grant Coordinating Officer and his program manager(s) shall implement, manage and coordinate all phases of the LFG program in accordance with applicable Federal regulations and the State’s administrative plan. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to:

1.    Providing training, technical assistance and program guidance to all staff having responsibilities in the program;

2.    Determining jointly with FEMA the pricing for items of real estate and generic rooms (FEMA Form 90-56).

3.    Determining the pricing for items of personal property and all other assistance provided by the program (FEMA Form 90-5 6);

4.    Participating in the briefing of FEMA contract inspectors to ensure that:

a.    The inspectors understand the specific nature of the disaster and affected areas;

b.    A common understanding of the role of the inspector is developed and

c.    The requirements  of the IFG program are clearly defined and understood by the inspectors.

5.     Determining staffing requirements of the program to include:

a.    Supervisory staff 

b.    Trainers 

c.    Clerical workers

d.    Verifiers

e.    Inspection reviewers

f.     Administrative Panel members

g.    Appeal authority

h.    Quality control staff

6.    Provide technical assistance to the panel to ensure consistency in determination of eligibility and grant amounts.

7.    Assure strict compliance with Public Law 93-288, Section 311.

8.    Submit required reports to the FEMA Regional Director, ECO, and SCO.

9.    Closely coordinate with Federal and Volunteer agencies that provide disaster assistance to prevent duplication of benefits (DOB). Duplication of benefits information will be forwarded to the GCO from the FEMA computer branch.

10.  Notify the State Coordinating Officer that a case of suspected fraud or misapplication of funds exists.

11.  Notify each applicant by letter of the eligibility determination made on his application.

12.  Ensure that all grants are disbursed within twenty-one (21) working days after receipt of approved grants from the Administrative Panel.

13.  Submit the Final Statistical Summary Report to the Regional Director no later than ninety (90) days after the completion of all grant award activity.

14.  Provide field verification of a random sample of the disbursed grant expenditures.

15.  Determine validity of extenuating circumstances for late filing of applications.

16.  Refer applicants with serious needs greater than the maximum IFG grant to the American Red Cross for unmet needs assistance.

D.    The Department of Treasury shall:

1.    Arrange for the State’s share of funding in. compliance with Government of American Samoa P.L. 15-105.

2.    Ensure all disbursements subject to Federal Audit are recorded properly and records retained for such audit.

E.    The Departments of Legal Affairs, Samoan Affairs, Administrative Services, Office of Human Resources, Office of Procurement and the Territory Emergency

       Management Coordination Office shall provide personnel to fulfill the roles of Administrative Panel(s), inspection reviews, Appeal Authority, trainers, verifiers, quality control, and clerical staff as requested by the OCO.


In administering the Grant Program, the eligibility of an individual or family for a grant is based on meeting disaster-related necessary expenses or serious needs for which other governmental disaster assistance is unavailable or inadequate, and for which assistance from other means has not been received or refused  Applications must be filed within 60 days following the date of the declaration and for a minimum of 30 days thereafter when the State determines that extenuating circumstances beyond the applicant’s control (such as, but not limited to, hospitalization, illness, or inaccessibility to application centers) prevented them from applying in a timely manner. The eligibility of an individual or family shall be determined by the Administrative Panel in accordance with the following criteria:


1.    In administering the IFG program, the State shall determine the eligibility of an individual or family in accordance with the following criteria: To qualify for a grant under this section, an individual or family representative must:

a.     Make application to all applicable available government disaster assistance programs for assistance to meet a necessary expense or serious need, and be determined not qualified for such assistance, or demonstrate that the assistance received does not satisfy the total necessary expense or serious need.

b.    Not have previously received or refused assistance from other means for the specific necessary expense or serious need, or portion thereof, for which application is made; and

c.     Certify to refund to the State that part of the grant for which assistance from other means is received, or which is not spent as identified in the grant award document.

2.    Individuals or families who have knowingly assumed the risk of living in a hazardous area are not eligible for grant assistance. This “assumption of risk” applies when:

a.     The property is located within a flowage easement.

       The property is located between a river and a levee, where the family built the home after the levee was built or where the family was compensated for future flood damage at the time the levee was built:         

c.     A residence is located on land leased to a family or individual where the lease holds the government harmless from the risk of damage.

NOTE: This restriction does not apply if an applicant is going to use the funds to move out of the risk area.

3.    The President’s Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 and FEMA Regulations 44 CFR require that a floodplain management review process be completed for certain actions which may be taken under the IFG program. The Floodplain Management Review involves an eight step decision making process designed to evaluate the proposed action to avoid the floodplain where practical and to minimize impacts if avoidance cannot be achieved. For each disaster in which the IFG Program is implemented, the Grant Coordinating Officer or his delegate will be designated as the Floodplain Management Reviewer to assure that the requirements in the Executive Order are met:

a.     For the IFG Program, there are five (5) types of actions which require the decision-making process. They are: 

1.    Purchase of mobile homes, travel trailers or readily fabricated dwellings;

2.    Restoring/repairing private bridges;

3.    Building new private bridges;

4.    Pooling grants to restore/repair private bridges; and 5. Grants for structures as minimum protective measures.

b.    If any of the above actions are anticipated under the IFG Program, the review process must be completed. Compliance is required for all types of disaster incidents, not just for damage due to flooding.

c.     For more detailed information on the eight-step decision-making process see FEMA Handbook DR & R 18 Individual and Family Grant Program.

4.    Individuals or families who incurred necessary expenses or serious needs in. the major disaster area may be eligible for assistance under this section without regard to their alienage or residency in the major disaster area or within the State in which the major disaster has been declared.

5.    The State may not make a grant for acquisition or construction purposes in a designated flood hazard area in which the sale of flood insurance is available under the National Flood Insurance Program unless the individual or family agrees to purchase adequate flood insurance and to maintain such insurance for 3 years, or as long as they live in the residence to which the grant assistance relates, whichever is less.

a.     Any previous grant recipient who may have been required to maintain a policy for a longer period of time (under previous regulations) but who kept it for at least three years, is deemed to have satisfied this requirement. This provision need be applied only during the 3-year period prior to a new disaster declaration.

b.    Adequate flood insurance, for IFG purposes, means a policy which covers $5,000 building and $2,000 contents (homeowners) or $5,000 contents (renters).

c.     If the grant recipient fails to obtain the required flood insurance, he/she must return to the state the amount of the grant received for acquisition and construction of insurable real and personal property, and the flood insurance premium.

d.    If a grant recipient cancels a required policy within the 3-year period, he/she is in-eligible for subsequent IFG assistance for insurable real and personal property for the remainder of the 3-year period, up to the amount which should have been covered by flood insurance.

e.     The cost of the first year’s policy is a necessary expense for those required under this section to buy flood insurance.

6.    When an applicant is determined. to be eligible for household items, furnishings or appliances, and when those items are an integral part of a mobile home or other furnished unit available for sale, the applicant may apply the funds awarded for those specific items toward the purchase of the furnished unit. If the applicant exercises his option to purchase a mobile home or other furnished unit available for sale. the State shall recognize that the-grant recipient has properly met his necessary expenses or serious needs when verifying grant expenditures or conducting a State Audit.

B.    Specific Eligible Categories Assistance may be made available to meet disaster related necessary expenses or serious needs by providing essential items or services in the categories set forth below:

1.    Medical or dental. 

2.    Housing  with respect to private owner-occupied primary residences (including mobile homes), grants may be authorized to:

a.     Repair, replace, rebuild;

b.    Provide access. If a grant request is received from more than one applicant to repair or replace a non-public facility that provided service to more than one individual or family, verification must show:

1.    All applicants have a common necessary expense or serious need;

2.    Any assistance provided by the Federal, State, or local government is taken into consideration when determining whether a need exists; and

3.    All applicants have jointly applied for assistance from other governmental programs such as the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program, and have been determined not to be qualified for such assistance. 

4.    Proof of joint ownership must be provided. If the above factors are verified, and if joint ownership of the repaired or replaced facility is agreed to by all grant applicants prior to issuance of the grant, the State may award a grant to each applicant.

       The grant recipients may then combine their grant funds to repair the private facility.

c.    Clean or make sanitary:

d.    Remove debris. Debris removal will be limited to the minimum required to remove health hazards, or protect against additional damage to the residences, or

e.    Provide or take minimum protective measures required to protect such residences against immediate threat of damage. The residence is considered to be under immediate threat of damage, when the disaster damage is causing a potential safety hazard and if not repaired, will cause actual safety hazards from common weather or environmental events.

f.     Minimization measures required by owner-occupants to comply with the provisions of 44 CFR Part 9 (Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands), to enable them to receive assistance from other means, and/or to enable them to comply with a community’s floodplain management regulations.

3.     Personal Property

a.    Clothing, or

b.    Household items, furnishings, appliances, or

c.    Tools, specialized or protective clothing or equipment which are required by an employer as a condition of employment, or

d.    Requiring, cleaning or sanitizing any eligible personal property item, or

e.    Moving and storage to prevent or reduce dam age.

4.     Transportation

a.    Grants may be authorized to provide transportation by public conveyance.

b.    Grants may be authorized to provide private transportation, or to repair/replace the principal means of transportation.

5.     Funeral Expenses

       Grants may include funeral and burial (and/or cremation) and related expenses.

6.    Flood Insurance

       A grant amount equal to the cost of the first year’s premium may be allowed.

7.    Estimates

       Estimates required for eligibility determinations under the IFG Program for housing, personal property, and transportation will be provided by the Federal government. However, an applicant may appeal to the State if he/she feels the government estimate is inaccurate. The cost of an applicant obtained estimate to support the appeal is not an eligible cost.

8.    Other

       Should the State determine that an individual or family has an expense or need not specifically identified in this section, the State shall fully document the case file before approving such assistance.


Assistance will not be made available for any item or service in the following categories:

1.    Business losses, including farm business and self-employment;

2.    Improvements or additions to real or personal property, except those required to comply with minimization measures (see p. 24 of FEMA Handbook DR & R 18  Individual and Family Grant Program), or the requirements of local building codes.

3.    Landscaping;

4.    Real or personal property used exclusively for recreation;

5.    Financial obligations incurred prior to the disaster; and          

6.    Reimbursement for labor and or service, performed by the applicant and persons living at the pre-disaster address.


The IFGP is a cooperative effort between Federal and State governments directed at alleviating disaster related suffering. When implementing the grant program, the State must first ensure compliance with Section 315 (Duplication of Benefits) of Public Law 93-288.

Information in IFG files will be released only to agencies or organizations who require it to make eligibility decisions for disaster assistance programs, or to prevent duplication of benefits, to State agencies responsible for audit or program review, and to FEMA or the General Accounting Office for the purpose of making audits or conducting program reviews. 

A.   Assistance Private or Charitable Organizations

       The American Red Cross, churches, fraternal groups, employers, and other private agencies often provide disaster assistance to victims. Grants will not be made necessary expenses or serious needs for which assistance has been received or refused from any private or charitable organization, except for expendable items.

B.    Insurance

       Proceeds received as a result of an insurance claim flood, homeowners, automobile, health, etc. must be considered as assistance from other means when determining grant eligibility and grant amounts. When determining the amount of assistance to provide to an applicant who is entitled to insurance benefits, it will be presumed that any insurance settlement which the family receives is first used to reduce the verified necessary expenses and serious needs by category, Life insurance proceeds are considered a resource of the individual and family, and therefore, should not be considered when determining eligibility for the IFG Program.

C.    Temporary Housing Assistance (FEMA) Eligibility for assistance is based on need, defined by displacement and lack of adequate insurance coverage or resources to immediately satisfy adequate alternate housing needs. A recipient of temporary housing assistance may receive benefits such as home repair, transient rentals, mobile homes, and furniture items. (The furniture items may be purchased, leased, leased with a time purchase option or obtained from federal stocks and provided on a loan basis for the duration of temporary housing assistance.)

D.   Small Business Administration (SBA)

       Grant applicants who have a necessary expense or serious need for repairs/replacement of real or personal property or transportation must first apply to SBA for loan assistance and be determined ineligible, or the assistance provided must be insufficient, before grant eligibility can be determined. An SBA loan is considered a form of Federal assistance even though the obligation to repay exists, thereby making it different from a grant which does not have to be repaid. Therefore, an applicant who has been approved of a Small Business Administration loan to meet a specific need or expense is not entitled to a grant for the same items of need, unless the amount received is insufficient to meet the necessary expenses or serious needs.

E.    Farmers’ Home Administration 

       Farmers’ Home Administration assistance is essentially the same as Small Business Administration and should be administered accordingly with one important difference: Farm losses associated with the farm business, such as crops, machinery, livestock, and fences are not eligible for grant assistance. Emergency loans for home and personal property needs to be considered.

F.    Internal Revenue Service

       Grants received under this program are considered by the State Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service and payments under social benefit programs for the promotion of the general welfare, and therefore, they should not be included in the calculation of gross income.


All State agencies charged with responsibilities under this Plan will insure compliance with Section 2205.13, Non-Discrimination in Disaster Assistance, and Section 2205.l5,  Duplication of Benefits of the FEMA Regulations. The agencies designated will perform the following functions:

A.    Establishing Application Centers and Application Taking

       FEMA will be responsible for staffing DACs with registration and application taking staff. The State will supply one or two (as needed) knowledgeable IFG representatives at each DAC to answer applicants’ questions that the registrar cannot answer, and to provide technical program guidance to other agency personnel. The application form will be the Disaster Assistance Registration/Application (FEMA Form 90-69, April, 86).

       The State will receive the IFG copy of the FEMA Form 90-69 for each registrant. Not all of these forms will constitute an application for IFG. The State will consider an IFG application:

1.     When it receives a FEMA Form 90-69 which:

a.    Has the “applicant’s certifications” signed, and.

b.    Has items c(3) and/or c(4) completed, and

c.    Is accompanied by an SBA Summary Decline (SBA Form 1363).   

2.     When the State is notified that an applicant who has submitted an SBA application;

a.    Has been declined by SBA, or

b.    Has been approved for a loan, but still has unmet necessary expenses and/or., serious needs

       Only completed application will be registered into the State system and reported by FEMA.

       FEMA Forms 90-69 which are pending a loan disposition by SBA will be considered only potential applications and will be maintained in separate (manual) control files.

       Following closure of the DACs, FEMA staff will continue to register applicants and take applications as long as the DFO is open, at locations determined in consultation with the State and SBA. Once the DFO closes, FEMA staff will take applications (assuming they can still be filed timely or have extenuating circumstances) over the telephone or through other appropriate means.

       (Procedures for continued acceptance of late applications beyond the 60-day application period will be provided under separate cover for each disaster operation.)

B.    Interviewing Applicants, Receiving Grant Applications

1.    FEMA will be responsible for interviewing applicants and receiving applications.

2.    The FEMA interviewer at the DAC will fully explain the scope and purpose of the program to each applicant and will ensure’ that each applicant addresses the specific needs or expenses for which he or she is seeking assistance. An application will not be considered complete unless signed. FEMA will provide the State with the application form and all pertinent documents, and the GCO will establish a case file which contains those documents.

C.    Verifying Necessary Expenses or Serious Needs

1.    FEMA will be responsible for the verification of necessary expenses and serious needs in the categories of: verification information for IFG applicants who have received a summary decline by SBA. A field trip(s) will be made by a FEMA contractor/inspector as required, to verify the serious needs or necessary expenses for which assistance has en requested. Completion of the verification form (FEMA Form-90-56, April 86) is part of the application process, and will become a part of the case file. FEMA verifiers will make a single verification visit for both the Temporary Housing. Program and the IEG Program. 

2.    The State will be responsible for verifying the serious needs and necessary expenses in the categories of medical or dental, funeral expenses, transportation, and  other categories; verifications for appeals and late applications or reverification for reconsideration when FEMA verifiers are no longer available. A field trip will be made as required by the State to verify serious needs or necessary expenses for which assistance has been requested.

3.    In those instances where the IFG Program personnel have questions about the data contained in the Form 90-56 or require clarification of data, the matter shall be referred to FEMA for resolution through the state/territory IFG Program Coordinator. Under no circumstances are changes to or alteration of the inspector’s documentation on the Form 90-56 to be made by program personnel. If any corrections are required to the proposed award specifications and/or award letters, provided by the FEMA,  Local Area Network, (LAN) Information Management System (IMS), such corrections shall be entered on the Information Update form (FEMA Form 90-67). The update form will be provided to FEMA for review prior to entry into the  Information Management System. FEMA will provide the IFGP with corrected award specifications and letters as required. 

4.    Requirements 

a.     Medical/Dental Expenses The cost of medical/dental treatment including surgeons, physicians, psychiatrists, dentists, hospital confinement, drugs, and special treatment which is occasioned by injury or illness directly caused by the disaster is eligible for a grant in an amount which is directly incurred by the applicant. All American Red Cross assistance, Veterans benefits, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and other insurance payments received by the applicant must be deducted from the total cost. These costs and the fact that illness or injury was directly caused by the disaster must be documented by physician’s or dentist’s statements. Continuing and long-range treatment maybe eligible if specifically supported by such statements and with an estimate of the length and cost of such treatment. Eligible items also include eyeglasses, prescription drugs, dentures and prostheses lost in the disaster. Dollar amounts must be given for any directly incurred or expected medical care. Verifiers must also obtain copies of bills or receipts and insurance payments for inclusion in the case file.

b.    Housing Expenses

1.    Allowable costs to repair, replace, or rebuild, and documentation of ownership and primary residence will be provided by FEMA on the FEMA Form 90-56, Inspection Report. Insurance settlement information will be provided by the applicant, or in the case of flood insurance, by the applicant of NFIP. 

2.    The need for minimization measures will be verified by documentation provided by the applicant. An estimate on work required or receipts for work completed will be provided by the applicant. 

3.    Other serious needs and necessary expenses under the housing category will be verified by FEMA or State inspection reports. An estimate on work required or receipts for work completed will be provided by the applicant.

c.     Personal Property Expenses

1.    Serious needs and necessary expenses will be verified by FEMA using the FEMA Form 90-56. Insurance settlement information will be provided by the applicant, or in the case of flood insurance, by the applicant of NFIP. Verification of Red Cross assistance will be provided by FEMA through the information Management System (IMS).

2.    The need for tools, specialized clothing or equipment required as a “Condition of employment will be verified by a statement from the employer, provided by the applicant. 

d.     Transportation Expenses/Needs

       The FEMA or State Verifier should state the need for repair or replacement of primary transportation as opposed to using public transportation.

1.    Repair

       The Verifier must ensure that the application is made on the principal means of transportation (example title and current registration end document). Insurance payments normally cover the cost of repairs to private transportation damaged as a result of a disaster. Copies of insurance payments will be reviewed and posted. An estimate for repair must be provided to the program by the applicant. If the FEMA or State Verifier determine that the repair bill or estimate is inflated or incomplete, the applicant will be required to submit a second complete estimate, pictures and/or other supporting documents. The Verifier will document this finding on the inspection report in the comments section and indicate that additional documentation is to be provided by the applicant.

2.    Replacement

       Applications for a grant for replacement shall be based on transportation needs occasioned by the total loss of a family or individual’s principal primary means of transportation. The FEMA contractor will obtain from the applicant proof of ownership, market value at the time of loss current registration and licenses, tag number, insurance paid, and/or salvage paid whether to the individual or a financial institution, plus documentation of make, model, and year.

       Where replacement of private transportation is determined appropriate, the grant amount will be based on the current NADA Official Used Car Guide (blue book) value of the vehicle lost or 50% of the maximum allowable grant, whichever is less. IC safe and adequate transportation cannot be provided within the blue book limits or the lost vehicle is not listed in the blue book, the grant amount must not exceed 50% ($2,500) of the maximum grant allowed.

       ln computing the amount awarded, any insurance settlement or salvage paid to the owner must be taken into account. If a person did not have a vehicle prior to the disaster but has a need for private transportation resulting from the disaster, the applicant must provide two (2) written estimates which should not exceed the blue book value of the vehicles identified on the estimates, and the grant amount must not exceed 50% ($2,500) of the maximum allowable grant.

e.     Funeral Expenses

       Allowable costs for funeral expenses will be verifies by receipts.

f.     Flood insurance

       The need for flood insurance will be verified when the Application/Registration form is completed using Flood Hazard Boundary Maps (FHBM) or Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). The cost of required insurance will be verified by the GCO.

g.     Estimates

       Estimates will provide statements to verify the cost of the estimate.

h.     Other Expenses/Needs

       Documentation by the applicant of any other necessary expense or serious need will be reviewed. The GCO will fully explain the circumstances and obtain from the applicant any documentation which will support the claim. Unusual circumstances will be referred to the Regional Director for technical assistance.

i.     Reverification . 

       A reverification may be required if additional serious needs or necessary expenses are discovered after the initial verification. This decision will be made by the GCO and will depend upon the circumstances of the additional need or expense which has been discovered. 

D.    Coordination With Other Agencies 

1.    The SBA will be responsible for providing the GCO with copies of verifications performed by SBA staff in the housing and personal property categories (including vehicles) for those  applicants who submitted applications to SBA. The GCO will use the verification information provided by SBA to make an eligibility determination on those applicants who received formal decline from SBA and for those applicants whose approved SBA loan is for less than the SBA verified loss (after consideration of insurance settlements). 

2.    Coordination with SBA, as well as the National Flood Insurance Program, Temporary Housing, ARC and other volunteer groups will be achieved through the use of the FEMA DOB Master Log.  

3.    Temporary Housing, ARC and local volunteer groups will have provided the GCO with information on their efforts before the verified file is received for Administrative Panel review. Verification of an SBA loan decision and a flood insurance settlement, is applicable, must also be received prior to review by the Administrative Panel. 

4.    A Proof of Loss Statement” or “Insurance Settlement Agreement” will be obtained by the applicant to determine the dollar amount of items covered by insurance. The insurance settlement will be compared to the value of the verified necessary expenses and serious needs to ensure that grant assistance does not duplicate needs that are covered by insurance. The computation will be done separately for each category of assistance. Non-insured items will be deducted from the proposed grant list before comparing the insurance settlement to that list. 

       Non-insured items will not be duplicated by the grant. 

E.    Eligibility Determination 

       All eligibility determinations shall be made in accordance with current Federal regulations and the approved State Administrative Plan. All files must be screened to identify any duplication of benefits before the case is reviewed by the Administrative Panel. 

1.    For the housing and personal property categories, the Administrative Panel will review the FEMA Form 90-56, determine eligibility, and document their decision on the prescribed procedure. 

2.    For all other categories of assistance, the Administrative Panel will review the narrative verification and supporting documentation determine eligibility, and document their decision on Territorial grant award sheet. 

F.    Notifying Applicants for Grant Approval/Disapproval 

       The Grant Coordinating Officer shall notify each applicant by letter of the eligibility determination made on their application. In grant approval cases, the letter will state the application has been approved; the amount of the approved grant; the purpose for which the grant has been made; and whether flood insurance is required. if flood insurance is required, Grant Award Letter will indicate to whom and by when the grant recipient must submit proof of purchase. In grant disapproval cases, the letter will state that the application has been disapproved and the reasons for the disapproval. In all cases, the letter will inform the applicant of the right to appeal the decision. Applicant appeals can be made either in person or in writing to the Appeals Officer within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date of the letter. 

G.   Disbursement Procedures 

       The GCO, upon receipt of completed grant award determinations will submit a voucher to the Department of Treasury authorizing Grant Award checks.  The OCO will mail the checks and record and record the amount and the amount and date in the file.  The Department of Treasury will use all available resources to ensure that all grants are disbursed within 21 working days after grant approval 

H.   Appeal Procedures 

       The Appeals Authority will consider each appeal within 7 calendar days of receipt. Each applicant will be notified by letter of the result of the appeal. All determinations by the Appeal Authority will be final.             

1.    Verification of Grant Expenditures 

       A random sampling of the disbursed grant will be selected by the Grant Coordinating Officer. The GCO will have the option to use the sampling process outlined below, or to select 5% of the case files, whichever is less. As a minimum, ten (10) case files will be reviewed. 


Total # of IFG

# Sampled


Up from 200


Up from 400


Up from 800


Up from 1,500


Over 1,500



       Field verification will be carried out by TEMCO or (selected state personnel). This review will be started when 50 percent of the expected number of approved applications have been disbursed, and must be completed prior to the completion of the IFG Program. The purpose of the review is to verify that grant funds are expended to meet the necessary expenses or serious needs for which the grants were awarded. Recoupment procedures will be initiated for cases in which grant funds have been used for unauthorized expenditures. 

3.    Duplication of Benefits 

1.    FEMA will provide the DOB information to the GCO as it is accumulated. If an award is made based upon faulty information provided by FEMA, the State will be held harmless, up to 75% of the grant amount. In those cases where insurance payments, additional governmental assistance, or assistance from other means accrues to the applicant subsequent to the award of. the, grain, constituting a duplication of benefits, or grant award duplication, the Grant Coordinating Officer will assure that the dollar amount for items duplicated in the grant is returned to the State. This will be done by requesting the applicant to refund the amount due the State not later than 14 calendar days from the date on the letter. 

2.    lf payment is not received by the 15th calendar day, a second registered letter will be sent to the applicant, by registered mail, stating that this is the second notice and the State must receive repayment on or before 7 calendar days from the date of this letter.  

3.    If payment is not received on or before the 8th calendar day from the second written notification, the file will be forwarded to the Attorney General with supporting documentation for possible litigation. The Attorney General’s Office will send at least one letter advising the applicant of the discovery, and request a return of the funds which were duplication of benefits. Additional recoupment action may be required.  

4.    For all letters the consequences of failure to return the money will be indicated to the individual. 

5.    If the state attempts, but is unable to recoup the portion of the grant which constitutes duplication, and can provide documentation of that attempt, FEMA may honor the State’s claim for the Federal portion.



In the administration of the Individual and Family Grant Program authorized under Section 408 of Public Law 93-288, the following time limitations will be applicable. 

A.   The Status Report will be submitted to region IX commencing the end of the first week of the application period and during DFO operations and continue weekly until the ninetieth (90th) day of the program, and monthly thereafter until the program is closed. The report format will provide cumulative data, including the activities of the preceding report period. Reports, submitted weekly, will be prepared and processed so as to ensure submission to the FEMA Regional Director by not later than close of business Friday. 

B.    Applications shall be accepted from individuals or families for a period of 60 days following the declaration, and for no longer than 30 days thereafter when the State determines that extenuating circumstances beyond the applicants’ control (such as, but not limited to, hospitalization, illness, or inaccessibility to application centers) prevented them from applying in a timely way. Except if applicants exercising their responsibility to first apply to the Small Business Administration do so after SBA’s deadline, and SBA accepts their case for processing because of “substantial causes essentially beyond the control of the applicant,” and provides a formal decline or insufficient loan based on lack of repayment ability, unsatisfactory credit, or unsatisfactory experience with prior loans (i.e., the reasons a loan denial client would normally be eligible for IFG assistance), then such application referred to the .state by the SBA is considered is meeting the IFG filing deadline. The State may then apply its own criteria in determining whether to process the case for grant assistance. The State automatically has an extension of time to complete the processing, eligibility, and disbursement functions. However, the State must still complete all administrative activity within the 270-day period described in this section. 

C.    Any application filed after the sixty (60) calendar day period stated above must be reviewed by the Grant Coordinating Officer to determine whether the late filing was the result of extenuating circumstances or conditions beyond the control of the individual or family. If it is determined that good cause existed for the late filing, the application will be accepted and the case file documented as to the reason for acceptance. If such determination cannot be made, the application will be rejected.  

D.   The State will retain the original documentation supporting its claim or reimbursement of eligible costs for a period of not less than three (3) years from the date of final voucher payment. 


The Federal grant to the State under this program includes 75 percent of the actual cost of grants to individuals and families, plus State administrative expenses not to exceed three percent of the total Federal grant. If the State is not immediately able to provide its 25 percent share of grants to individuals and families, FEMA may advance that share. The Governor’s request for an advance of the State share will include a statement as to the specific actions to be taken to overcome the State’s inability to provide its share, including a time schedule for repayment of the Federal advance. 

Section 44 CFR 205.54(h) of FEMA regulations stipulates the failure to repay the advance of the State’s share in accordance with the time schedule set forth in the Governor’s request may result in the withholding of subsequent advances or may be offset against other funds to be made available to the State under PL 93-288.  

Expenses incurred by the State in the administration of the IFGP may be reimbursed by the Federal Government not to exceed three percent of the total Federal grant. The amount payable for administrative expenses is computed by dividing the Federal share of meeting serious needs and necessary expenses by .97, and subtracted the Federal costs of meeting such expenses from the quotient.  Funding for the Program, to include initial and subsequent drawdowns of funds, will be consistent with current procedures for use of Letter of Credit. 


In those instances where Federal or State reviews, indicate that an applicant has misapplied  grant-funds, is unable do verify proper expenditure, or has excess funds remaining, the following action will be taken:

A.   If an applicant misapplies grant funds or fails to retain receipts for grant expenditures, a home visit will be accompanied to ascertain the purchase of items or services for which the grant was awarded. lf proper expenditures cannot be verified, the case will be processed as indicated in paragraph C, below. 

B.    An applicant may submit a request for reverification because of needs and expenses not identified in the original verification. In such instances a reverification will be completed prior to any further determination by the Administrative Panel. 

C.    Once it has been determined that the applicant has no additional needs or expenses that would be considered eligible under the program, cannot verify proper expenditure of grant funds, or has misapplied grant funds, he/she will be notified at least twice by certified mail to return that portion of his/her grant within 20 days following the date of the notification. If the applicant fails to refund the excess funds within the prescribed limit following the second notification, the case file, completely annotated, will be forwarded to the GCO for processing through the SCO to the Attorney General for action. The State Attorney General’s Office will advise the applicant in writing of the discovery of misused or unused funds, request return of the funds, and remind the applicant of the criminal and civil penalties stated in PL 93-288, including the offset of any future grants, if appropriate. In those cases where recovery has not been made, the program will establish a file and identify the applicant for reference in future programs for purposes of offsetting the amount owed or for denial of grants, as appropriate. 

D.   In all instances where an applicant refuses to cooperate in the grant expenditure verification process, the case will be referred to the Attorney General through the SCO for action. 

E.    Those cases forwarded  to the SCO under A through C above will be reviewed by the GCO to determine if extenuating circumstances exist relating to the applicant’s misuse of funds. If, in the GCO’s determination, no such circumstances exist which would mitigate the prohibitions against misuse, the case file will clearly reflect such a determination and will be referred to the Attorney General for action through the SCO. If the GCO determines that there are valid extenuating circumstances relating to an applicant’s misuse of funds, these circumstances should be fully documented, to include appropriate comments and observations by individuals handling the case. In all such cases, full documentation will accompany the case file on the applicant forwarded to the SCO. 


A.    Penalties

Pursuant to Section 317(a) of Public Law 93-288, criminal and civil penalties may be imposed in cases of misrepresentation and fraud. State and Federal government agencies are equally responsible for enforcement of anti-fraud statutes concerning the IFGP.

1.    In cases of a falsified application, a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year (or both) shall be levied for each violation. 

2.    Concerning misapplication of funds, violators shall be subject to a fine equal to one and one-half times the amount of the grant. 

3.    A civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation shall be levied against any individual who knowingly violates any provision of 44 CFR 205.54, the implementing regulation. 

       The above penalty provisions must be explained to each applicant at the time of application, and the applicant must acknowledge that he/she is aware of those provisions. 

B.    Federal/State Actions 


The following actions will be taken in the event of a case of suspected fraud:  

1.    The GCO will notify the SCO that a case of suspected fraud exists. The SCO will then notify the FEMA Regional Director and direct the conduct of a preliminary investigation. 

2.    If the results of the preliminary investigation warrant further action, the SCO will forward the case to the State Attorney General for investigation, and simultaneously forward a copy of the preliminary investigation to the FEMA Regional Director. Upon determining that fraud exists, the State will investigate the possibility of taking legal action or as a minimum advising the applicant that the State Attorney General’s Office has discovered fraud and may request a return of the funds, reminding the applicant of the criminal and civil penalties stated in Public Law 93-288, including offsetting or denying any future grants. An option open to the State is the use of a collection agent to recover funds owned by the State. The expense should be balanced against the expected recovery. 

3.    The FEMA Regional Director, after obtaining concurrence of the FEMA Associate Director, SLPS, will forward the results of the investigation to the Inspector General through the District Inspector General with all pertinent information. The Inspector General will determine whether the matter warrants referral to the Department of Justice, and shall notify the Regional Director and the District Inspector General. 

4.    If any IFGP State employee is under investigation for theft or misuse of program funds, the SCO shall notify the FEMA Regional Director of the case facts and the actions being taken by the State to investigate the matter. State law shall govern, if the State fails to pursue the matter properly, the funds involved for those specific cases may be suspended by the Regional Director. 

5.    Since State and Federal agencies are responsible for enforcement of State and Federal antifraud statutes respectively, the State and Federal governments may prosecute the same criminal act, and may coordinate as they deem appropriate. 


The Directors of all designated agencies will provide the State Coordinating Officer with such reports as they may require, in addition to those listed herein. 


The State will ensure financial audits are performed in accordance with the Single Audit Act of 1984. All disbursements for which the State requests reimbursement will be subject to Federal audit. 


The Regional Director will review the Plan for each disaster for which assistance is requested to ensure that the requirements of Federal Regulations have been met. The Regional Director may defer approval of the Plan until any deficiencies have been corrected. Additionally, the Regional Director shall review the Plan on a yearly basis in January. 


Management of the IPG Program is the. responsibility of the GCO. In some states that responsibility is delegated either totally or in part to one or more “program managers” or “assistants”. The organizational structure for American Samoa is described in Section V. Responsibilities.  

Because the IFG Program is a disaster relief program, it is not by nature an on-going operation with staff, offices, equipment and an identity which includes relationships with other State and local agencies, except when the Governor has requested and the President has made a major disaster declaration. However, once such a declaration is made that includes IFG assistance, many demands are placed upon the GCO and any others responsible for management of the program. The program immediately becomes a major focus of attention for disaster victims who have serious needs, for which IFG represents the only recourse. The program must be implemented quickly to meet those needs in coordination with other programs, including the FEMA Temporary Housing Program, the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program, the American Red Cross, and others. in addition to providing assistance quickly, the GCO also has the responsibility to ensure that it is provided in accordance with Federal regulations and the State IFGP Administrative Plan. These constraints, along with others, present a substantial management challenge for the GCO and his staff, particularly during the first 7-10 days of implementation. 

Issues which must be immediately addressed include: 

1.    Approval of the State IFG Administrative Plan. Federal regulations require approval of the Plan by the FEMA Regional Director for each disaster. Since the State does not operate the program on a continuous, year-round basis, changes in regulations and national policy, changes within State agencies, and other factors must be addressed before the plan can be approved  

2.    Staffing. Although the advent of the Combined Verification Process (CVP) and the Information Management System (IMS) have greatly reduced the burden on the State to staff the program, a considerable need still exists to manage, supervise, review cases, make eligibility determinations, conduct verifications (Medical! Dental and Funeral categories), set up and process case files, prepare reports, write policy memoranda and amendments is the Administrative Plan, train staff, perform reception and clerical functions, answer inquires, conduct floodplain management reviews in flooding disasters, conduct reconsideration and/or appeals, etc. An early and firm commitment of adequate staff on a full-time basis with provisions for overtime for key personnel is critical. 

3.    Training. All staff must be thoroughly trained to carry out their assigned duties effectively and professionally in accordance with Federal regulations and the Administrative Plan. Initial training of staff should be comprehensive and should be attended by employees at all levels, if the State is nit prepared to provide adequate training, then technical assistance should be requested from FEMA.  

       In addition to the initial training, clarification of program policies and procedures should be provided to all staff through regular and periodic staff meetings and the issuance of written program clarifications and guidelines, throughout the operation of the program. Since eligibility determinations, appeal decisions, program audits and other evaluations of the program are based on the same criteria, written guidelines are essential.    

       Staff should be provided with: written materials for reference in the performance of their duties, including the IFG Administrative Plan, DR+R18, 44 CFR Part 205.54 and documents promulgated by the State for administration of the program. Additional copies of Federal applications can be obtained from FEMA. Administration of the program “by word of mouth” causes misinformation and undermines the integrity of the decision-making process and should be avoided. 

4.    Information Management System (IMS) IMS provides valuable assistance to the IFG Program through compilation of duplication of benefits information, coordination of document distribution among major agencies, production of notification letters and specification sheets for the housing and personal property categories, and generation of various reports. Coordination with IMS will greatly enhance management capabilities and accelerate the delivery of assistance to disaster victims. However, it should be noted that IMS is a relatively new component of the FEMA system of coordination and is in a process of development. It is expected that its capabilities will be expanded with each operation. 

5.    Pricing and Selecting Additional Items. Final decisions about selection and pricing of items that will be considered serious needs should be made only by staff who have received thorough training in the program, in addition, careful consideration should be given to any items added to the FEMA Form 90-56,  Inspection Report, since such items may be routinely considered serious needs for all applicants. 

       Note: items which may represent serious needs for some individuals and families but would not be considered a serious need in most situations, would be better evaluated on a case-by-case basis in the “Other” category of assistance. 

       Data used to develop prices for all items on the Inspection Report (FEMA Form 9056) should be well documented, with steps taken to ensure reasonableness and accuracy when establishing average costs. The State’s policy for establishing prices for items not included on the Inspection Report (e.g., items approved under the Medical, Dental, Funeral, Transportation, and Other categories), should be clearly stated in the Administrative Plan to ensure that all staff responsible for such decisions can make consistent determinations.   

6.    Contract Inspectors’/Verifiers’ 

       Briefing. In terms of impact upon the overall program, this meeting will be the most important involving IFG staff. In preparation for the briefing, IEG staff should become totally familiar with the FEMA Form 90-56. Inspection Report, and the verifications requirements of the IFG Program. Although the State will not be held accountable for the Federal portion of grants awarded as the result of erroneous information obtained by FEMA verifiers, the State will be responsible for its own share of such awards. For this and other reasons, the State should ensure that its requirements are communicated clearly. Standards for verification will be set at this briefing which will impact case decisions throughout the program. 

7.    Reports.

       Periodic reports are required during program operations. Notable among these are the IFG Initial, Weekly and Final Statistical Reports. While the IFG Reports provide valuable management data, they require the development of information gathering procedures at the outset of the program. If the establishment of these procedures is delayed because of a lack of commitment to adequately staff the program, the difficulty in compiling accurate reports is compounded and inevitably will interfere with other aspects of the operation. If the State does not have the ability to produce these or other necessary reports prior to beginning the program, procedures should be developed immediately after the program’s implementation. 

       The elements discussed above do not constitutes all of the issues which must be addressed  by those responsible for the management of the IEG Program, even in its beginning phase. Logistical concerns regarding office space transportation and accommodations, equipment and supplies, among others, must be addressed Caution should be exercised therefore, against concentrating too many responsibilities in the hands of a too small program management staff. Particularly in the early stages, responsibility should be sufficiently delegated to ensure all vital elements of the operation are proper1y developed and the program is put on a solid foundation. Technical assistance is available through the FEMA Individual Assistance Officer and the IFG Coordinator and should be utilized. 



Individual and Family Grant (IFG) and Temporary Housing (TH) Programs 


In restructuring the policies and procedures for the IFG and TH Programs the following are FEMA’S guiding principles:  

) Uniformity 

) Consistency 

) Fairness 

) Timeliness 

Responding to these, the more specific goals for the programs are: 

) Improving program response time 

) Simplifying program procedures 

) Simplifying eligibility determination 

) Maximizing the recipient’s use of funds 

) Decreasing the State’s administrative cost and burden 

) Reducing possibility for duplication of benefits 

Several initiatives have been developed and combined into a comprehensive system of program delivery. Some of the activities are undertaking by FEMA, while others remain the States’ responsibility. The IFG Program is now less staff intensive and less costly for States, more staff intensive for FEMA, and much less complicated for individuals and families. These initiatives are grouped into four categories: automatic application procedures, condensed verification, streamlined estimating techniques, and new grant award procedures. 


IFG applications 

1.    Policy. Applications are automatically filed when IFG needs are indicated; otherwise, no IFG application is made. The State no longer needs application personnel. 

2.    Procedures. IFG applications are now taken at the Disaster Application Centers (DACs) when non-SBA type needs are indicated (medical/dental, funeral) and when the applicant receives a summary decline the DAC from the SBA. Otherwise, no application is taken. 

Pricing and Inspections  

1.    Policy. FEMA’s inspection contractor will perform all inspections for both the Temporary Housing IFG Programs, with a few exceptions. Applicant supplied estimates are no longer required; and a few, if any, home visits by the State will be required. Portions of the inspection report will be conducted on a “generic” basis. 

2.    Procedures

A.    Real Property 

(1)   The State will establish what items it considers basic for a kitchen and living, dining, and bedroom(s). The State will also establish the total dollar value of personal property required for each type of room. 

       Based on the verification code system established for indicating extent of damage to furnishings, the State will need to assign a percentage value of a total award for the X and Y codes. The Z code represents a 100% award. 

The codes for furniture verification are: 

X = Repairable 

Y = Some item is repairable, some need to be replaced 

Z = Most/all items should be replaced 

N/A = Not affected 

       The total dollar value for each room (Z) and the percent for X and Y will be entered into the computer. When the verifications information is entered into the computer, the IFGP will be provided with priced specifications for award. 

(2)   Inspection. The inspection process will not provide an item-by-item description of damages. Extent of damage to furnishings will be by code (X, Y, Z, or N/A) as explained above. 

       Note: The Temporary Housing Program provides an allowance for furniture and will analyze the personal property verifications to determine the amount of the allowance. The allowance will be for rental. of furniture for a temporary housing unit. 

B.    Personal Property/Clothing. 

(1)  Pricing. The State will establish a maximum clothing allowance for each of the four categories listed on the inspection report (# 19). Based, on-the verification code system established for indicating extent of damage to furnishings, the State will need to assign a. percentage value of a total award for the X and Y codes. The Z code represents a 100% award. 

       The codes for clothing verification are: 

       X = Cleaning only 

       Y = Home essential clothing should be replaced 

       Z = Most/all essential clothing needs to be replaced 

       N/A = Not affected 

       The maximum clothing allowance for each category (Z) and the percent for X and Y will be entered into the computer. When the verification information is entered into the computer, the IFGP will be provided with priced specifications for award. 

(2)  Inspection. Extent of damage to clothing will be by code (X, Y, Z, or N/A) as explained above. The letter code will be accompanied by a numeral representing the number of persons in the category.

C.    Appliances/Mechanical Devices 

(1)  Pricing. The State will establish what items (from Block 20 of the inspection report) are necessary. The State may add items, as appropriate. Two prices will be established for each item, one for repair and one for replacement. All repair and replacement prices are entered into the computer. When verification information is entered into the computer, the IFGP will be provided with priced specifications for award. 

       The codes for appliances/mechanical device verifications are: 

       X = Repairable 

       Z = Must be replaced 

       N/A = Not affected 

(2)   Inspection. The inspection will indicate extent of damage-by code (X. Z; or ( N/A) as explained above. If an applicant did not have or own the item, but now needs one of these or any other item, it will be recorded in the comments section, block 24; of the inspection form 

D.   Medical/Dental and Funeral. The State continues to be responsible for these verifications. The inspector will instruct any family which does not have written estimates or receipts to obtain and send them to the IFG Program. He/she will give the family a self-addressed envelope for this purpose. State staff will then follow up with the applicant. 

E.    Work Equipment. This category pertains mostly to the IFG Program. Furthermore it applies only to employment-by-others, not to self-employment, as that would be a business and not eligible under the IFG Program. This item includes tools, specialized or protective clothing, equipment required by an employer, hut the applicant’s responsibility td purchase and maintain (such as books, supplies, etc.), although these could be an extension of personal property noted in the comments section. Either way of reporting these is appropriate. The inspector should list the item, add a brief description of the requirement and the dollar value if a receipt or estimate is presented; example: nurse’s uniform, required by hospital at applicant’s expense, $50 (paid receipt). Make sure all receipts are dated so as to relate to the disaster event and that the loss/need is disaster related. This will come out during the interview. 

       Duplication can occur between the grant award and SBA loan assistance. Therefore, the State should check with the SBA before awarding this kind of assistance if the client was eligible to apply to the SBA. A check with the Red Cross is also necessary.

       If the applicant does not have a receipt or estimate, provide the IFGP self-addressed envelope and inform the applicant to send in the documentation. If this is done, check the appropriate block to indicate that the State should follow up. 

F.    Moving and Storage. This is an IFGP item only. Expenses incurred to move and store personal property away from the threat of damage (such as to a storage facility on high ground) may be eligible, regardless of whether the residence was then actually affected by the disaster. The inspector should interview the applicant briefly, explaining this concept, obtain a brief description of the requirement, state how it is disaster related, and note the dollar figure if a receipt or estimate is presented: example: moved first floor furniture to warehouse: receipt from Sam’s Warehouse, $50. Make sure all receipts are dated so as to relate to the disaster and that the need to move or store was disaster related. This will come out during the interview. 

G:   Transportation. This information is for the IFG Program, If the number of usable vehicles is one or more, the presumption is that the family does not need additional transportation. If during the interview it becomes apparent that a family might need more than one car, the inspector should thoroughly document the reasons. Otherwise, line items b, c, and d are not required. 

       If there are no usable vehicles, information will be required as to the status of the other vehicles the family had. Since a transportation award is sometimes based on actual repair cost and sometimes on a maximum allowable figure as determined by the State (usually whichever of these figures is lower), the inspector’s determination as to whether the vehicle is actually repairable is important. The inspector should interview the applicant briefly, obtain whatever receipts or official estimates are available, and determine whether the loss of or need for the vehicle is disaster related (23,c). The dates on the receipt or estimate should relate to the disaster event. 

       If the applicant does not need transportation, write “none needed” in 23, c. 

       If the applicant does not have a receipt or official estimate, the inspector will provide the IFGP self-addressed envelope and inform the applicant to mail the documentation to the Program as quickly as possible. If this is done, check the appropriate block to indicate that the State should follow up. 

       Duplication can occur between the grant award and SBA loan assistance. Therefore, the State should check with the SBA before awarding this kind of assistance, if the client was eligible to apply to the SBA. 

H.    Inspection Report. The State will receive a copy of the inspection report, a priced out listing of damages to real property a copy of the MR award if applicable a proposed listing of those specific real estate items that are not MR eligible but are normally IFGP eligible with dollar values, and a copy of the listing of personal property and transportation amounts that are potentially IFGP eligible. The State can then make an eligible determination on these items. The system can also provide a grant award document. 

Grant Awards 

1.    Policy. Grant awards will be written in a general way. Awards will be allowances, to spend among the allowable categories.  

2.    Procedures. When the State receives the items mentioned above, it will make eligibility determinations. When the inspection report indicates a dollar value of damage that exceeds the minimal repair (MR) scope of work (which is now $5,000 in most cases), then immediate grant awards can be given. This is subject to the following conditions: 

       The applicant is owner-occupant of the home, as verified by the inspector: and 

       The applicant has a summary decline from the Small Business Administration: and 

       The applicant is uninsured for housing and personal property. Statements from the applicant on the registration form and a check of the NFIP coverage will reveal this information. 

       Actual dollar values per item or per category will not be included. Even if the State has “not to-exceed” type pricing for certain items, the applicant will not be limited to spending only that amount for that item, unless it is the only grant item awarded. When the “immediate” grant award is given, based on total destruction or major damage, the family will still be allowed to spend the money on any of the IFGP eligible categories listed in the award notification. The grant award approach eliminates recovery of funds procedures against an applicant who may not have spent the exact amount of money awarded by the State for a specific item or service. The problem of misapplication will largely be eliminated, along with the associated voucher analysis/audit problem. A sample grant award document to explain this concept is attached. 

       Applicants will be able to appeal for more money by submitting receipts for the items/ services they used their award and insurance proceeds for and by stating what other expenses/needs must still be obtained. 



Prices cover: 

1.    Baseboards, LF (remove, reinstall new).  

2.    Sheet rock, SF (remove, reinstall new, tape, finish with base coat). 

3.    Insulation, 2 walls per room, SF (remove, install new). 

4.    Window trim, 15 LF each (remove, install new). 

5.    Door trim, I LF each (remove, install new). 

SF codes:

Water level codes:

A = 50 SF  

A = less than 6 inches

B = 100 SF  

B = more than 6 inches, less than 4 feet 


C= 150 SF  

C = more than 4 feet, less than ceiling.

D= 200 SF  

D = over the ceiling

E= 250 SF


F= 300 SF


G= 350 SF


* no generic room assistance.


Worksheet for Item 18. Personal Property/Furnishings 

(Code X, Y, Z, NA) 

Award Amount 




BR 1_____________                                           

BR 2_____________                                           

BR 3_____________                                           

BR 4 _____________                                         

BR 5______________                            


X = Damaged, but repairable, Award________________% 

Y = Damaged; some items repairable, some should be replaced. 


Z = Damaged; most/all items should be replaced. Award______________% 

NA       = Not affected.  Award nothing. ________________________________________


LRM    =                                                           

BR2     = 

KIT      =                                                           

BR3     = 

DRM    =                                                           

BR4     = 

BR1     =          

BR5     =                                   

Worksheet For Item 19. Personal Property/Clothing 

(Code X. Y, Z, or NA)

Amount                                    Award 

a.         Male over 12_________                         

b.         Male l-12____________                          

c.         Female over 12________                       

d.         Female 1 – 12_________                        


X = Cleaning only, Award_______________%. 

Y = Some essential clothing should be replaced.  Award_____________%. 

Z = Most/all essential clothing should be replaced.  Award____________%. 

NA = Not affected. 


Male over 12___________                                 Female over 12___________ 

Male 1-12_____________                                  Female 1 – 12____________ 

Worksheet for Item 20. Appliances/Mechanical Devices 

(Code X, Z) 

Award Amount 






Air Conditioner_________                                 

Electric Fan_____________                               

Vacuum Cleaner_________                                

TV Set_________________                               

Lawn Mower____________                               


Miscellaneous Items______                                


X = Repairable.  Award the repair cost. 

Z = Must be replaced.  Award the replacement cost. 


Item Repair        

Replace            Replace            Item      Repair

Range ______    

A/C ______ 


Elec. Fan ______ 

Washer _______ 

Vac. Clnr. ______ 

Dryer _______  

TV Set  ______ 

Freezer _______ 

Lawn Mower ______ 

Telephone         ______ 


When the IFG Program is implemented under the Combined Verification Process (CVP) and the Information Management System (IMS), the State will develop procedures for reviewing the FEMA Form 90-56, Inspection Report. This review is required to make eligibility determinations for IFG cases, and to provide IMS with information required to process specification sheets and notification letters for the housing and personal property categories of assistance. 

Prior to processing any IFG applications, a meeting will be held to decide what type of coordination in the review process will best satisfy the requirements of the IFG and Temporary Housing Programs. The meeting will be attended by the State IFG staff designated by the GCO and FEMA IA staff; including the IMS Officer, TH Officer, Project Monitor, and IFG Coordinator. The goal of the meeting is to establish a coordinated review process that will make efficient use of program staff(s) and ensure timely and effective delivery of assistance. 

Review instructions already Included in this Appendix should be presented and discussed at the meeting IMS capabilities may vary from one disaster operation to the next, so it is possible that procedures planned by the State may need revision when the program is actually implemented. Staff responsible for writing amendments to the Administrative Plan should also be in attendance, so that required changes can be made and the revised instructions provided to staff responsible for the inspection report reviews. The FEMA IFG Coordinator will be available to provide technical assistance to the State. 

Included in this annex are sample instructions for the review of the FEMA Form 9056 inspection Report. 


The 90-56 will be included in an IFG packet consisting of: 

1.    Application/Registration (FEMA Form 90-69) -green copy. 

2.    Inspection Report (FEMA Form 90-56) -white and green copies. 

3.    SBA Summary Decline (SBA Form 1363)-yellow copy, or SBA Loan information Form and SBA Form 739, Field Inspection Report and attachments. 

NOTE: SBA forms will be included in packets where housing and personal property needs or expenses are addressed. 

STEP A            Compare control numbers and names to ensure that all documents in the packet identify the same applicant. 

STEP B            Application/Registration (FEMA Form 90-69). 

1.    Ensure that items 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 are legible. 

2.    A16-18: If “yes” block is checked, refer to C[4] and D3. If C[4] is checked, verification documents for Medical/Dental and/or Funeral categories are required if D3 is checked, a referral to ARC was made. 

3.    B2: If flood insurance is indicated, settlement information is required (see 24 Comments on page 2 of 90-56). 

4.    C[l]: if checked, send packet back to IMS unless SBA documents indicate a decline or loan with unmet needs.  

5.    C[2]: if checked, send back to IMS. 

6.    C[3]: If checked and SEA Form 1363 is not present, send back to IMS. If SBA Form 1363 is present, continue with review. 

7.    C[4]: If checked, follow procedures in the IFGP Administrative Plan for determining eligibility for Medical/Dental and Funeral categories. 

STEP C            Inspection Report (FEMA- Form 90-5 6). 

NOTE: 8-13 apply to homeowners only 18-24 apply to homeowners and renters. 

1.    Ensure that the overall damage assessment is consistent. Compare blocks 5, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 and 24. if inconsistencies appear, discuss with the Program Manager. 

2.    Ensure that 8 and 9 are complete. 

3.    Refer to 10. If the home was destroyed, there was no insurance, SBA declined loan assistance and the applicant is the owner-occupant, a $5,000 grant may be awarded. Place a check (X) in block 399. Write in 24 (page 2, Comments) “399 Real Property.” Highlight the entry in 24 with a YELLOW marker. 

4.    12: To approve, highlight entries in either column A or B with a YELLOW marker. To disapprove or change any entry, draw a single line through the entry; initial, date and explain Comments (24). 

5.    13: To approve, highlight entries with a YELLOW marker. Do not highlight code “A” for water level. To disapprove or change any entry, draw a single line through the entry; initial, date and explain in Comments (24). 

6.    18-20: Ensure that the number of bedrooms and sets of clothing are consistent with the dependent household composition listed in 19 of FEMA Form 90-69. Ensure that all entries are clearly distinguishable as “x”, “y” or “z”, if not clearly distinguishable or if any “y” entries are made in 20, return to the Program Manager. To approve, highlight entries with a YELLOW marker. To disapprove or change any entry, draw a single line through the entry; initial, date and explain in Comments 

7.    21-22: If actual costs are recorded by the verifier, amounts may be approved up to program limits. If estimates are indicated, ensure that the “envelope provided” box has been checked. Make appropriate contacts and record any discussions or attempts to contact the applicant or third parties on the Record of Contact Sheet. 

8.    23: If actual costs are recorded by the verifier, amounts may be approved up to program limits. If estimates are indicated, ensure that the “envelope provided” box has been checked. If the need t6 replace or provide a’ vehicle is verified, the maximum allowable is fifty percent (50%) of the maximum grant. A lower amount can be used if the applicant requests/verifies a lower figure. 

9.    24: Enter deductions for assistance provided by ARC or for proceeds of insurance settlements. ARC assistance will be listed on the Red Cross Report. Enter the amount to be deducted, the category from which the deduction is to be made and the appropriate IMS code (e.g. “19Z Deduct 500 ARC”). Highlight the entry with a YELLOW marker. Insurance settlement information will be included in Comments (24) or on other documents in the packet. Enter the amount to be deducted, the category from which the deduction is to be made and the appropriate IMS code (e.g. “12Z Deduct 2,000 insurance Proceeds” and “20Z Deduct 1,000 Insurance Proceeds”). Highlight the entry with a YELLOW marker. To change an entry, draw a single line through the entry; initial date and explain in Comments (24) if assistance is indicated but the deduction is not made, explain in Comments (24). 

10.  24: Review this section and refer to appropriate items to ensure that all comments by the verifier and the reviewer’ have been addressed. 

11.  Sign and date form at DAC. Submit to IMS for data processing. 

       After being processed by IMS, notification letters and specification sheets will be printed 




       It is the objective of the IFG program to deal with serious needs and. necessary expenses incurred by individuals or families in a natural disaster situation. Therefore, it is imperative that the Appeal Authority, as the last resort of the applicant, have a thorough knowledge of the program. 

       The appeal procedure is as follows: 

A.    The Grant Coordinating Officer shall notify each applicant, by letter, of the applicant’s eligibility determination. In grant disapproval cases, the letter will state that the application (or portions thereof) has been disapproved and include the reason(s) for the disapproval. 

B.    In all cases, the letter. will inform the applicant of the right to appeal and how to file art appeal. 

C.    The appeal can be made either in person or in writing.    

D.    Appeals must be made to the Appeal Authority within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the disapproval letter set to the applicant by the Grant Coordinating officer. 

E.    The Appeal Authority will consider each appeal within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of appeal. 

F.    The Appeal Authority will contact the Grant Coordinating Officer to request the case file.  

G.    All appeals will be considered on the basis of eligibility criteria in the Administrative Plan. 

H.    Determinations by the Appeal Authority will be based upon: 

1.    A review of the eligibility determination. 

2.    Consideration of any new information provided by or on behalf of the applicant in the appeal.

3.    A reverification, when necessary, to resolve any discrepancies between the information submitted in the appeal and the verification on which the eligibility determination was made. 

NOTE: Reverifications will be conducted by FEMA or the State in accordance with Section VIII, Section C of the Administrative Plan. 

I.     All determinations by the Appeal Authority will be final. 

J.     Each applicant will be notified by letter of the result of the appeal. 

K.    Strict compliance with Public Law 93-288, Section 311, must be ensured.  II. Forms and procedural instructions are included in the attachments to the Administrative Plan.  

III.   Conclusion

       The Appeal Authority must be an impartial person(s) totally familiar with all aspects of the Individual and Family Grant Program and must exercise discretion, using judgment and experience in consideration of appeals. The goal of the IFG program is not to indemnify losses, but to assist in meeting serious needs or necessary expenses of disaster victims. 



A.   This appendix will describe the State’s mechanism for complying with Presidential Executive Orders 11988 and 11990, Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands, and with FEMA Regulation 44 CFR Part 9. 

B.    If any of the actions described below are required, are located in the floodplain, a floodplain management review must be completed. This includes actions that are to be taken, or have been taken, by the applicant before grant assistance is approved. 


Purchase of mobile home and/or site development. 

Restoring/requiring private bridge. 

Building a new private bridge. 

Pooling grants to repair/provide private bridge. 

Structural protective measures. 

C.    The floodplain management review involves an eight (3) step decision-making process. Each step is identified below along with a brief description of how the State will comply. 

Step 1: 

       Determining whether the proposed action is located in wetland and/or the 100-year floodplain (500-year floodplain for critical actions), or whether it has the potential to affect or be affected by a floodplain or wetland. 

State Comment: 

These determinations are made at the Disaster Application Center using the Flood Hazard Boundary maps. A determination is made on each applicant. 

Step 2: 

       Notify the public at the earliest possible time of the intent to carry out an action in a floodplain or wetland, and involve the affected and interested public in the decisionmaking process. 

State Comment: 

This action will be accomplished by using the standard notice form attached and labeled  FL-1. The content of the notice shall include: 

a)    description of the action, its purpose and a statement of the intent to carry out the action; 

b)    statement that a map of the floodplain/wetland is available for inspection, the locations and contact information; 

c)    a description of the type, extent and degree of hazard involved and the floodplain/wetland values present; 

d)    identification of the official or organization responsible for implementing the action. 

Step 3: 

       Identify and evaluate practicable alternatives to locating the proposed action in a floodplain or wetland (including alternative sites, actions and the “no action” option). If a practicable alternative exists outside the floodplain or wetland, FEMA must locate the action at the alternative site. 

State Comment: 

This action will be accomplished through appropriate completion of the management analysis process and the use of the attached Form FL-2, which details alternatives. 

For the restoration and repair of private bridges, alternative sites need not be considered. However, alternative actions and the “no action” alternative must be considered. 

Step 4: 

       Identify the full range of potential direct or indirect impacts associated with the occupancy or modification of floodplains and wetlands and the potential direct and indirect support of floodplain and wetland development that could result from the proposed action. 

State Comment: 

See comment to Step 3. 

Step 5: 

       Minimize the potential adverse impacts and support to or within floodplains and wetlands to be identified under Step 4 Restore and preserve the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains and preserve and enhance the natural and beneficial values served by wetlands. 

State Comment: 

For the most part this step would not be applicable because for all intended purposes, there would be no harm caused by the implementation of grants. However, for those cases involving new, or restored/repaired private bridges, or the purchase of a mobile home, applicable codes and standards will be adhered to. 

Step 6: 

       Re-evaluate the proposed action to determine first, if it is still practicable in light of its exposure to food hazards, the extent to which it will aggravate the hazards to others, and its potential to disrupt floodplain and wetland values, and second, if alternatives preliminarily rejects at Step 3 are practicable in light of the information gained in Steps 4 and 5, FEMA shall not act in a floodplain or wetland unless it is the only practicable location. 

State Comment: 

This re-evaluation will be conducted by the GCO and the recommendation and completed file will be forwarded to the Regional Director. 

Step 7: 

       Prepare and provide the public with a finding and public explanation of any final decision that the floodplain or wetland is the only practicable alternative. 

State Comment: 

Public notice would be issued. Notice will contain information that NFIP criteria, where applicable, have been met, there exists no practicable alternative and that any harmful effects of this action would be minimized where possible. 

Final notice is not required when restoring private bridges. 

Step 8: 

       Review the implementation and post-implementation phases of the proposed action to ensure that the requirements of the orders are fully implemented. Oversight responsibility shall be integrated into existing processes. 

State Comment: 

This action is implemented With FEMA Regional Director’s approval. The Development Planning Office will: 

a)    Assure action is carried out. 

b)    Verify compliance with Executive Order. 

c)    Take remedial action where necessary. 

d)    Consider floodplain management in State audit proceedings.      

e)    Make appropriate information available to FEMA at time of program review. 


Notification is hereby given to the public of the intent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) to provide assistance for the purpose of restoring _________________________ at ___________________________ which was damaged in the recent major disaster declared as a result of ________________.  This facility is located within the base floodplain and. therefore, is subject to review under the President’s Floodplain Management Executive Order. Public comment about restoration of this facility and the application of the Executive Order was invited by notice in this publication on_______________________.

Comments and other information received were fully evaluated by FEMA along with evaluation of social, economic, environmental and safety considerations. FEMA has consulted with State and local officials to insure compliance with applicable floodplain protection standards. FEMA has determined that the only practicable alternative is to locate this facility at its original location within the floodplain because__________________________________.  

The restoration of this facility will also incorporate certain measures designed to mitigate the effects of future flooding. 

Interested parties may obtain further information about this action and its specific location at the Office of the Disaster Recovery Manager at_______________________________________ 

or by calling ________________ between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Comments about this project should be submitted in writing to the above address by _____________________. 






TYPE OF ACTION PROPOSED: (Check, then circle appropriate structure)  

________Repair/Replace Private Bridge/Protective Structure  

________ Pooling Grants to Provide a Private Bridge 

________Provision of Private Bridge/Protective Structure            

________Purchase of Mobile Home 

1.         Is the site in the 100-year floodplain on a map issued by the Federal insurance Administration? Yes______ No ______  

Is it in a floodway or coastal high hazard area (V-Zone)? Yes _________ 

No _________ 

Can’t tell from map: Needs survey _________ 

2.         Has this site been damaged in the past by flooding, and indicate the source of this information: 

Yes ________ 

No ________ 

Don’t know ________ 


a.          Presidential Emergency or Major Disaster Declaration? Date: _________

b.         SBA Declaration? ______________ Date:_________ 

c.         FEMA Declaration? ____________ Date:_________ 

d.         State Response to Flooding? _______ Date:_________  

e.         Information from Local Officials/Citizens? Date______    

3.    What alternatives to the proposed action are there? List each as (a), (b), (c), etc. and describe fully. Include discussion of other sites and other means of solving the problem and achieving .the goal. Also describe the practicability of each alternative you identify in terms of environment, technology and cost of the alternative as compared to the original proposed action. (Attach separate sheet if required.) 

4.    Describe the impacts that the proposed action and each identified alternative could have on the floodplain. (Attach separate sheet if required.) 



5.    Describe measures which can be taken to minimize the hazard of future damage to the structure or facility or harm to the owner, or to restore and preserve the floodplain values. Give reasons for the recommendations in terms of environment cost (give cost estimate), and technology. Associate each type of measure with the action to which it belongs. Give reasons for this determination. (Attach separate sheet if required.) 

VERIFIER’S SIGNATURE____________________________ 



Application/Registration (FEMA Form 90-69) 

IFG Fact Sheet 

Inspection Report (FEMA Form 90-56) 

Proposed Award Specification Sheet 

Appeal Process Attachment 

State Grant Award Sheet 

Award Letter


Award Letter Attachment (itemized List) 

Disapproval Letter - Housing/Personal Property 

Disapproval Letter - Other Categories 

Withdrawal Letter 

Appeal Decision Letter (Approved) 

Appeal Decision Attachment (Itemized List) 

Appeal Decision - Disapproval 

Recoupment Letter - First Request 

Recoupment Letter - Second Request 

Record of Contact Street 

DMIS - Initial Report and Instructions

DM1S - Weekly Report and Instructions 

DMIS - Final Statistical Report and Instructions 

IMS Reports - IFG Program 

Codes for IMS Reports  

DOB Master Log/Alpha Listing - Sample  

3.    What alternatives to the proposed action are there? List each as (a), (b), (c), etc. and describe fully. Include discussion of other sites and other means of solving the problem and achieving .the goal. Also describe the practicability of each alternative you identify in terms of environment, technology and cost of the alternative as compared to the original proposed action. (Attach separate sheet if required.) 

4.    Describe the impacts that the proposed action and each identified floodplain. 

(Attach separate sheet if required.) alternative could have on the 

5.    Describe measures which can be taken to minimize the hazard of future damage to the structure or facility or harm to the owner, or to restore and preserve the floodplain values. Give reasons for the recommendations in terms of environment cost (give cost estimate), and technology. Associate each type of measure with the action to which it belongs. Give reasons for this determination. (Attach separate sheet if required.) 

Medical and Dental--When the insurance of the individual does not cover the victim’s costs of disaster caused injuries or illnesses, IFG may assist with the unmet portion. 

Funeral - - If the victim died as a result of disaster caused conditions, with no burial insurance coverage, the IFG can assist the family with the general costs of funeral, burial (and/or cremation), and related expenses. 

Flood insurance-- if the disaster victim lives in a flood hazard area, suffers damage caused by flooding, and receive an IFG award, he is required to purchase flood insurance as a contingency of the award. The IFG will authorize money for the first years minimum premium to provide $5,000 structure/$2,000 contents for a homeowner and $5,000 contents for the renter.  

Expenses that IFG cannot cover. 

By law, the IFG award cannot be used for the specific uses below: 

Replacement or repair of luxury items, decorative items, antiques, landscaping gardens, and real or personal property items used exclusively for recreational purposes. 

Business losses, including losses to farm business and self-employment. 

Improvements or additions to real or personal property, except as required by the building codes. 

Debts incurred before the disaster. 

Applying for grant assistance at the Disaster-Application Center.              

The disaster victim applies at a Disaster Application Center (DAC) for assistance to 

the IFG Program. The screening interview signals the registrar to make application to the program through a series of questions which guide the applicant into the proper program areas. The victim must first apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program and be found ineligible for reason of having no repayment ability, or have suffered disaster-related medical, dental, or funeral expenses. The 1FG applicant will be contacted by the FEMA and/or State verifier for an “at home” visit. At the time of the home visit, the verifier will request copies of bills, damage estimates, deeds/ownership papers, etc., to document the needs of the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all the required documentation in order that the IFG Administrative Panel may make a grant award. 



If you disagree with this decision and want to appeal, you must provide all of the following information IN WRITING or IN PERSON within 15 days from the date of this letter: 

-           How you spend or will spend the award money    

-           How much more money you need and why 

We want to make you aware that should you obtain estimates to support your appeal we are unable to reimburse you for that expense. 

Your appeal wi1l not be processed unless you provide specific information. We will evaluate what you send us and notify you in writing. Send your letter and copies of receipts to: 


ATTACHMENT Administrative Panel Grant Award Worksheet 




____ Approved 

____ Disapproved 

____ Withdrawn 



Award for Medical/Dental/Funeral/Transportation  





Dear M(r/s) 

We have reviewed your Disaster Assistance Application form We have also reviewed the verification that you provided regarding your _________________________ expenses. We have determined that you are eligible for an Individual and Family grant (FG) award of $___________________ and should be received within approximately ________ days from the date of this letter. 

You should spend the money for this disaster-related item. 

Do not spend the money for any ineligible items. Items not eligible are: 

Business-type losses; 

Cosmetic repairs or improvements to your home; 


Recreational and luxury items such as swimming pools and stereos Bills you owed before the disaster. 

Our program guidelines require that we review some grant awards. Please keep all original bills, receipts, estimates and cancelled checks of what you bought with IFG money for three years, in case we review your grant award. If your records are not, available, or if you spend the money incorrectly, we may require that you return the money.  

We hope this money helps you recover from the disaster. 



 ATTACHMENT  Medical/Dental/Funeral/Transportation Award Letter Attachment (optional)                                        

IFG Case No.  




STATE OF _____________________ 



Applicant (Mr., Mrs., Ms.

(last name)         (first name)      (middle initial) 


Zip Code 


Item/Service (Itemized List) 

Total Grant Award


Denial Letter #1 










We have reviewed your Disaster Assistance Application form. We have also reviewed the inspection report of the damage to your home and/or personal property. 

You are not eligible for assistance from the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program because: 

There was no significant damage to your property. 

Your needs were met by insurance or other forms of disaster assistance. specifically, 

You refused assistance offered by other programs, specifically,  

You requested things that are not covered by the IFG program specifically, 

The community in which you live is “sanctioned”. 

If you told us about damages or needs for other items, such as medical, dental, funeral expenses, or transportation, you will receive another letter from us; it will tell you whether you will receive an IFG award for them. 

You have __days from the date of this letter to appeal this decision. Your appeal must be written and sent to: 






Grant Coordinating Officer 





Date: DR#: 



We have reviewed your Disaster Assistance Application. We have also reviewed the verification information that you provided regarding your _______________ expenses. We have determined that you are not eligible for an Individual and Family Grant (IFG) award for these expenses, for the following reason: 

If you are dissatisfied with this decision you have the right to appea1 it. If you wish to appeal, you must request an appeal in writing or in person within days from the date of this letter to: 

Individual and Family Grant Appeal Authority  




Grant Coordinating Officer




IFG Case No. 





Your application for grant assistance for disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs as provided by the Individual and Family Grant Program has been received. It is recognized that you are voluntarily withdrawing your application for this grant. 

If you should change your mind and wish your application be considered, you may call __________ ________________________ at _________________________prior to the ending date for application consideration,        (date) 

If we may be of further assistance, please give us a call. 



Grant Coordinating Officer 




IFG Case No. 





I have made a careful review of your grant appeal, the decision made by the Territory of American Samoa Administrative Panel, and your application for assistance under the Individual and Family Grant Program. I have concluded that you are eligible for grant assistance as identified on the attached grant award. Flood insurance (is required: is not required). You may expect a check for the approved amount of $ within a few days. 



Appeals Authority 




First Letter for Collection of Funds 

IFG Case No. 





I am writing you in regard to the grant of $         you received from the Individual and Family Grant Program. I regret to inform you that our records indicate you were eligible but received a duplication of benefits from____________________________________. 

Federal Law requires that Individual and Family Grant funds cannot be provided to persons who are eligible and received financial assistance from any other source. Since financial assistance has become available to you, it is necessary that we seek a refund in the amount of $_______________ for the duplicated items.  

I am enclosing a copy of your agreement to refund grant monies to the Territory of American Samoa in the event future assistance become available. Also, I have enclosed a copy of our voucher indicating the amount paid in connection with your Individual and Family Grant application. Additionally, I am enclosing an itemized list of the benefits duplicated. 

Please mail your remittance in the enclosed self-addressed envelope, payable in the amount of  $ __________ to the _____________________ and sent to Grant-Coordinating-

Officer, within ______ calendar days from the date appearing at the- top of this letter.

Failure to comply with this request will necessitate possible legal action by the Attorney General’s Office. 

Direct any questions to the ____________________________________, Grant Coordinating Officer, or you may telephone at ___________________. 


Grant Coordinating Officer 

Enclosures: Agreement, Voucher, Itemized List, Pre-addressed envelope 


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