Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consists of 607 islands and 2.6 million km2 of ocean. The country comprises the four separate states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, with a total population of 106,104 (2013 estimate).
The location of FSM makes the impact of typhoons (tropical cyclones) a prevalent issue. In early 2015 Super Typhoon Maysak struck the country, and many communities are still recovering from the devastation. The typhoon caused 4 deaths and 10 injuries, and many lost their access to food and water. Yap and Chuuk were most directly affected, and there was extensive impact on agriculture with 90% of the banana, breadfruit and taro crops destroyed. The expected damage bill is USD8.5 million.
Formerly a part of the US Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, FSM entered into a compact of free association with the US when it became independent in 1986. The compact provides for defence and economic assistance from the US as well as for assistance following disasters. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is the US agency responsible for DRM support to FSM; it implements programmes through the International Organization for Migration, which has a regional office in Pohnpei.
FSM is prone to natural and man-made hazards, and has had 15 presidential disaster declarations in the past 26 years. Hazards affecting individual states as well as those affecting all of FSM include: coastal erosion, rising sea level, storm surge and tsunami; dam failure; drought; earthquake; epidemic; flood; rain-induced landslide; tropical cyclone; wildfire; and man-made hazards (hazardous material incidents and terrorism).
FSM has a Multi-State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan which was prepared in 2005 with the support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The plan is detailed and contains national and state-level mitigation plans for all identified hazards.
In 2009 a National Climate Change Policy was put in place which, amongst other things, focuses on adaptation at the national, state and community levels to reduce FSM's vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change. The policy imperative is beginning to filter through into sector plans as they are reviewed.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and planning are amongst the functions that are within the autonomy of the states, as accorded by the FSM constitution, and all states have disaster management plans. The issue of disaster mitigation is referred to in most of the state disaster management plans, with actions identified in the Multi-State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Kosrae State Law No. 10-2 (2011) legislates that climate change and adaptation measures be taken into consideration for all development activities.