Ask the Mayor: Can the County apply for FEMA funding to aid homeowners in building storm shelters?

September 22, 2019, 12:01 PM HST · Updated September 22, 12:10 PM
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Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: Can the County apply for FEMA funding to aid homeowners in building storm shelters?

A: Mahalo for your question. Unfortunately, there is no FEMA grant program to assist individual homeowners in retrofitting their homes or building safe rooms. There was a similar program through the State of Hawaii about 10 years ago, however, that program does not exist anymore.

Nevertheless, there may be a financial incentive to building a safe room or retrofitting your home to withstand a hurricane such as reduced insurance premiums. The homeowner would have to follow up with their insurance company to determine if their construction project is eligible for these insurance reductions.

For guidelines on retrofitting your home for hurricane preparedness, please see the “Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards – Third Edition” prepared by the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email to [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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