CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- With typhoon season beginning June 1 and continuing through Nov. 30, the island will remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 during the season, meaning storms are possible within 72 hours.
When a typhoon strikes, there may be little left untouched by the storm. Even when proper measures are taken to secure and protect personal property, items may suffer damage or destruction in the wake of the storm. If this occurs, there are steps one can take to recover losses.
One of the most important steps to take is to properly prepare before the storm arrives, according to Judy A. Barney, Claims Supervisor with the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan. Actions such as properly securing items, stocking-up on nonperishable food items, and securing the home are the first steps to minimizing damage.
To avoid unnecessary storm damage, tie down items that may be affected by the strong winds and heavy rainfall. Take photos to prove proper preventative measures were taken.
Once the storm has passed and cleanup begins, it is important to remember to avoid throwing away any damaged items until authorized to do so by claims personnel, according to Barney. Take pictures of all damaged items as soon as possible for future use during the damage claims process.
“Anything vulnerable to the wind can become part of the storm’s casualties,” said Barney. “Some of the most common items damaged by severe storms such as typhoons are outdoor items such as grills, sheds and vehicles.”
If a vehicle is damaged in a typhoon, a minimum of two repair estimates from any repair service is required. If there are no used parts available, the estimate must contain a statement saying so, according to Barney.
There is a maximum of $3,000 per claim, per incident, not per vehicle, according to Barney. A typhoon victim should keep in mind the military sponsor owns all vehicles in the household, therefore all vehicles in a household damaged in a storm fall under the same claim.
Power outages are possible during a typhoon, so it is recommended to have non-perishable foods on hand. If there is a power outage and all the perishable food spoils, claims personnel will review any claim regarding what food items were really necessary to have on hand during a typhoon.
Those with damaged items from a typhoon have two years from the time of the incident to make a claim. It is in the potential claimant’s best interest to file the claim as soon as damage is determined.
After filing a claim, it may take approximately 45 days to process, according to Barney. Marine Corps claims must process through Marine Corps Headquarters, Quantico, Va., before being returned to claimants.
To obtain the forms and documentation needed to file a claim, please visit the Claims Website at: http://www.mcipac.marines.mil continue to "Staff and Sections" in the dropdown menu, then as follows: "Special Staff", "Office of the Staff Judge Advocate", "Claims", "Personal Property Claims."
Forms requiring a signature must be signed by the sponsor or a power of attorney must be provided.
Upon completion please contact the claims office, located on Camp Foster Building 1, to set up an appointment to file the claims office.
For further assistance, call 645-9429 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Military and civilian personnel must submit claims through their respective service.
Air Force claims – call 634-1662 or visit Bldg. 15, Kadena Air Base.
Navy claims – call 634-8235 or visit Bldg. 3554, Kadena Air Base.
Army claims – call 644-4742, 644-5213 or visit Bldg. 218, Torii Station.