In the wake of Super Typhoon Mawar’s destruction on May 24, many residents of Guam, including hundreds of military members and families, are still without power. Now, military relief societies have stepped in with $1.7 million in grants to help families after the devastation, including replacing food that spoiled during the power outages.
Since the storm, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has provided more than $820,000 in grants to 1,748 active duty members and 55 retirees, according to an announcement from the relief society.
“As the extent of the damage becomes clear, service members are in dire need of support,” the announcement read. “Naval Base Guam realized incredible damage, has no power and our military personnel have suffered immeasurable losses and disruptions to their lives.” The grants for immediate needs are for basics such as shelter, food, water and gas.
Direct donations to help those affected by the storm can be made by visiting support.nmcrs.org/a/typhoonmawar
According to the installation’s Facebook page, as of 12:30 p.m. Guam time June 6, “Due to the island wide power outage, [Naval Base Guam] is without power throughout the installation. Critical base services are running on generator power.”
Here’s how other agencies are helping:
Air Force Aid Society: As of June 6, the relief society has provided $715,200 in grants to airmen and guardians living in Guam who were affected by the super typhoon. That includes grants to retirees. The primary needs are food, water and incidentals, said Robert York, chief mission advancement officer for the relief society.
“We have had a tremendous need in Guam for support and our team is working 24/7 to assist our airmen and guardians,” York said. To donate, visit www.afas.org . About 2,000 airmen and guardians are stationed on Guam, mostly at Andersen Air Force Base.
Coast Guard: More than 800 Coast Guard members, including active duty, civilian employees, auxiliarists and their families have been affected in recent weeks. To date Coast Guard Mutual Assistance has provided $128,500 in grants to 164 clients, including 146 active duty, 14 Reserve and four civilians, according to Erica Chapman, fundraising manager for the relief society. Requests so far have been for food loss and property damage, she said.
The organization provides disaster grants up to $13,500 to help with recovery. Retired Rear Adm. Cari Batson Thomas, the organization’s chief executive, urges personnel who need assistance to contact the personnel support team at 833-872-4778, or CGMA at https://cgmahq.org/hurricaneassistance .
Those who wish to donate can visit https://secure.qgiv.com/for/dire/
Army Emergency Relief: While there are fewer soldiers based on Guam, Army Emergency Relief has received 60 applications from soldiers there. AER is providing $600 in grants, for a total of $36,000 thus far.
To donate, visit https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/ .
Other assistance: The military exchanges’ Military Star card is automatically providing a 90-day grace period of 0% interest and no payments on existing balances and new purchases beginning on June 5. Standard account terms will apply after 90 days.
In addition, Navy Federal Credit Union is offering its nearly 38,000 members on Guam the ability to apply for an emergency assistance loan with an interest rate of 4.5%, with loan amounts from $250 to $5,000, and a maximum term of 24 months. Those who have existing loans with Navy Federal may be able to defer payments. For assistance, call 800-336-3767. Members who are existing cardholders can request a credit card limit increase, and can request that credit card late fees be refunded. Visit Navy Federal’s Emergency Assistance page for more details.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.