FEMA Maui recovery for the numbers: Deadlines and how to get post-wildfire aid

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Maui, Hawaii (Aug. 14, 2023) – FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Washington Task Force 1 works with federal and private sector partners to continue wildfire response efforts.

Recovery by the Numbers

  • FEMA and the US Small Business Administration have approved more than $89.25 million in federal assistance to survivors of the Maui wildfires that began Aug. 8. This includes:
    • $22,832,152 in FEMA assistance approved for individuals and households, including:
      • $11,186,789 approved for housing assistance.
      • $11,645,363 approved for Other Needs Assistance.
    • $66,250,452 in SBA disaster loans approved for affected Maui homeowners, renters and businesses.
  • The island of Maui (Maui County) was designated for FEMA Individual Assistance, and
    • 5,194 households have been approved for the Individuals and Households Program.
  • Three Maui County Disaster Recovery Centers are open. (See table below for locations and hours.)
  • The Red Cross and the Maui County government have housed and provided three meals a day to more than 7,323 people on Maui and 0‘ahu.
  • The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance and a low-interest disaster loan from the US Small Business Administration is Tuesday, Oct. 10. The last day for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofit organizations to apply for an SBA economic injury loan is Friday, May 10, 2024.

Key Messages

Ronald Proctor speaks with American Red Cross Volunteer Christy Homes at the Red Cross intake desk at the Royal Lahaina Resort. Proctor, well known as a local mall Santa, is one of the hundreds of emergency shelter residents who have moved into non-congregate housing. PC: Scott Dalton / American Red Cross

Apply for Red Cross Assistance by Friday, Sept. 15

The Red Cross is providing financial assistance, temporary housing in hotels, mental health assistance and other services to people, including survivors who are not eligible for some FEMA programs. In addition to applying for FEMA assistance, survivors are encouraged to register with the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) or speak to a representative at any Disaster Recovery Center. The last day to register for Red Cross sheltering assistance is Friday, Sept. 15.

FEMA-State Disaster Recovery Center at UH Maui College. PC: Cammy Clark (9.1.23)

Ways to Apply for FEMA Assistance

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service such as Video Relay Service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service when you apply. Helpline operators speak many languages and lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
  • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Use the FEMA mobile app
  • For an American Sign Language video on how to apply.
  • Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. Three Disaster Recovery Centers are open on Maui. At the centers, survivors can speak to FEMA specialists, get assistance applying for disaster assistance, connect with voluntary organizations and access other federal and state resources from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

What FEMA Will Need When You Apply

  • Name and Social Security Number of primary applicant
  • Name and Social Security Number of co-applicant (encouraged, but not required)
  • Current contact information
  • Current and pre-disaster address (include ZIP code)
  • Names of all occupants of the pre-disaster household
  • Types of insurance held by the household
  • Household pre-disaster annual gross income
  • Losses caused by the disaster
  • Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit of funds, if requested

Create a Disaster Assistance Account

  • If you’ve applied for FEMA assistance, stay in touch, get important updates and easily upload documents by setting up your online Disaster Assistance Account. Go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ and click on the green ‘Check Status’ button to create an online account. Use the same email you provided when you applied for assistance. You’ll be emailed a PIN you can use to log in. If you applied for assistance online or via the FEMA app, then you already have a Disaster Assistance Account.

Keep your Mailing Address Updated

  • Survivors who won’t have access to their homes for an extended time are encouraged to set up a temporary mailing address with the US Postal Service. To change your address, go online to USPS.com, call 800-275-8777 (800-ASK-USPS) or pick up a Change-of-Address form at any post office.
PC: County of Maui / Open Street Map contributors – Microsoft, Facebook Inc. and its affiliates, Esri community maps contributors, map layer by Esri. To determine if your address is in a specific zone, please refer to the interactive map at the following link:  Zone Map

Maui Residents Without Access to Safe Water Can Apply for FEMA Assistance

  • If you’ve lost access to clean, safe water as a direct result of the Maui wildfires, you may be eligible for FEMA assistance. To apply, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA app, or visit any Disaster Recovery Center (see table above for locations and hours).

Get Repair, Rebuilding Advice on Maui Through Sept. 23

  • FEMA has teamed up with the Home Depot in Kahului to provide free information and tips on how to make homes stronger and safer. FEMA specialists will be available to answer questions and offer home-improvement tips and proven methods to help prevent or reduce damage from disasters. The specialists will be available 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today through Sept. 23. They will not be at the store on Sunday, Sept. 17.
MauiRecovers.org. PC: County of Maui

Maui County Launches Website for Reopening and Recovery Information

  • Wildfire survivors can visit the Maui County website Maui Recovers (mauirecovers.org) for comprehensive information about re-entry to damaged areas, safety alerts and debris removal. You can also sign up for text or email updates and get answers to frequently asked questions. Updates will be provided through the end of September.
    • Several areas within the burned area have reopened to the public: Lahaina Gateway Center, 325 Keawe Street; Walgreens, 342 Keawe Street; Lahaina Cannery parcel; and a business area that some know as Lahaina Business Park.
      • Of the total 5 square miles burned in the Maui wildfires, about a third of the historic west coast town of Lahaina was destroyed in the flames. Another 1.5 square miles burned in central and Upcountry Maui.
    • Check the Lahaina Re-entry Map for the most current information.
    • Maui County government officials are distributing food, water and other supplies at the Kahana Gateway Shopping Center, 4405 Honoapiʻilani Highway, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
    • Go to https://www.mauinuistrong.info/getsupport to find a comprehensive directory of state, county, community and nonprofit sources of assistance.
DNA swab analysis equipment. PC: County of Maui.

New Process for Helping to Identify Fire Victims

  • Maui County has begun an appointment-based system for collecting DNA from family members of the missing. Call 808-270-7771 or send an email to [email protected] to schedule an appointment.
    • Family members living on the mainland or outside the United States should continue to call the FBI at 808-566-4300 or go online to [email protected] for information on how to contribute DNA.

Private Property Debris Removal

Fire debris removal cleanup is one of the major challenges facing residents, business owners and government agencies during recovery from the historic wildfires. Debris removal is taking place in phases to ensure the safety and cultural sensitivities of the affected communities. More: HERE

Be Alert to Fraud After a Disaster

  • Disaster survivors should be aware that con artists and criminals may try to obtain money or steal personal information through fraud or identity theft after a disaster. In some cases, thieves try to apply for FEMA assistance using names, addresses and Social Security numbers they have stolen from survivors. Click here for more information.

FEMA Assistance Provides for Basic Needs

  • FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program is only one source of disaster funding. It can lend a helping hand to recover but it cannot compensate for everything that was lost. If approved, you may receive a limited amount of FEMA disaster assistance to make repairs to your primary home and/or repair and replace essential personal property when the damage is not covered by insurance.
    • Eligible survivors may be approved for a one-time immediate payment of $700 per household, which can be used for life- saving and life-sustaining items like food, water or medical supplies. If you have applied for FEMA assistance, a Housing Assistance specialist will contact you if you’re eligible for this grant. Learn about the difference between Critical Needs Assistance and Individual Assistance HERE.

Understanding Your FEMA Letter

Maui residents who applied for FEMA assistance will receive a determination letter. It is important to read the letter carefully because it will include the amount of assistance FEMA may provide and information on the appropriate use of disaster assistance funds. The letter will also explain your application status and advise how to ask FEMA to reconsider its decision. More HERE.

PC: background image courtesy DLNR Hawaiʻi.

Renters Can Apply for FEMA Assistance

  • Renters in Maui whose homes and property were damaged by the fires can apply for FEMA disaster assistance, which is available to renters, including students, as well as homeowners. Federal grants can help pay for temporary housing. The initial rental grant is for a one-month or two-month period and can be reviewed for additional assistance. More HERE.
Maui, Hawaii (Aug. 15, 2023) – FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams distribute registration information to survivors at the airport in Maui to assist wildfire survivors.

FEMA is Hiring – Four Job Fairs Planned Sept. 14-17

  • FEMA is hiring residents of Hawaiʻi to support the Maui wildfire recovery effort. Qualified candidates with a desire to serve are needed immediately. Jobs are available on Oʻahu and Maui. Visit a job fair in Kahului, Lahaina, or Wailuku to apply in person (see locations and hours below)
  • or apply online HERE.

Call FEMA as often as necessary

  • FEMA wants to deliver disaster assistance to survivors as quickly as possible. One way you can help speed the process is to stay in touch with FEMA. Update FEMA immediately when your situation changes, particularly your housing. Be sure to let FEMA know when your address or phone number changes and keep your appointments with FEMA representatives or, get in touch if you can’t.
    • Call as often as necessary. FEMA may need to contact you and missing or wrong information could delay the delivery of assistance. You will need the nine-digit number assigned to you when you applied. Maybe you didn’t answer the phone because you didn’t recognize the number or the Caller ID showed “unknown number.” Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to learn if you missed FEMA’s call.

Common Reasons for FEMA’s Eligibility Decisions

  • You may have received a letter saying you are ineligible for disaster assistance because someone at the same address has already received help from FEMA. Typically, FEMA allows only one applicant per household or address to apply for Housing Assistance. Maui applicants can appeal this early decision by sending FEMA a signed letter to explain your living situation. More HERE.
    • If FEMA says you are ineligible for assistance because someone in your household has already applied, you can appeal. Typically, FEMA allows only one applicant per household. For Lahaina survivors, everyone under one roof can apply. To appeal, send FEMA a signed letter explaining you lived at the address during the disaster and your application represents a separate household at the same address as the original applicant at the address.

How to Appeal FEMA’s Decision

  • An appeal is a written request to FEMA to review your application for disaster assistance. It is also an opportunity to provide new or additional information not previously submitted that may affect FEMA’s decision. You may appeal any FEMA decision about your application for Individual Assistance. Submit your appeal to FEMA within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for more information. More HERE.
Background image: Cammy Clark (8.10.23) Maui Now graphic.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

  • Residents who lost their job as a direct result of the Maui wildfires and live or work in Maui County have until Monday, Sept. 25, to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. To be considered, applicants must be ineligible for other kinds of unemployment assistance. Here’s how to apply:
    • Go to one of the following locations:
      • Maui Claims Office: 54 South High St Rm 201, Wailuku. Ph: 808-984-8400
      • American Job Center Hawaiʻi: 110 Ala’ihi St. #209, Kahului. Ph: 808-270-5777

Nonprofits Can Apply for Public Assistance Funding

  • FEMA and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency are co-hosting several presentations on the FEMA Public Assistance program. Funding can help local governments, nonprofits and charitable organizations invest in their communities and fund critical, eligible projects. Presentations cover important information like eligibility requirements and how to apply. The deadline to Request Public Assistance is Tuesday, Oct. 10.
    • For nonprofits (in-person): Wednesday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Maui Economic Opportunity, Classrooms 1 and 2, 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.
    • For nonprofits (virtual): Tuesday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Click HERE to join the virtual meeting.
Small Business Administration assists wildfire survivors at UHMC in Kahului. PC: Lameen Witter / FEMA (8.16.23)

US Small Business Administration

  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $100,000 from the US Small Business Administration, which provides disaster loans to replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, furniture, appliances or cars. More information HERE.
    • To apply online, or to download applications click HERE. You may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information or to have a loan application mailed to you. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed paper loan applications should be mailed to US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
  • Homeowners and renters can also visit a Business Recovery Center for assistance (see table below for locations and hours). However, centers are only staffed with SBA customer service representatives.

Other Federal Actions

  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing a 90-day relief (until Wednesday, Nov. 8) from foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages and home equity conversion mortgages. Homeowners can call the FHA Resource Center at 800-304-9320 or visit hud.gov for more information.
    • HUD-certified housing agencies can provide additional counseling about your post-disaster housing needs. To find a HUD-approved agency, visit hud.gov/findacounselor or call 800-569-4287 or 202-708-1455 (TTY).
Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub at Maui Mall. PC: Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

Additional State and Voluntary Actions

  • The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is connecting survivors to a variety of community support services at its Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub at 70 Ka‘ahumanu Avenue in Kahului. Representatives from various agencies and nonprofits will be onsite to help people with food and financial assistance, grief counseling, legal counseling, housing and foreclosure prevention, document replacement assistance and kupuna care. The Resource Hub is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
  • The Hawaiʻi State Bar Association is providing free disaster legal services to residents of Maui and the Big Island who were affected by the wildfires. Attorneys will be available to answer questions about document replacement, insurance claims process, landlord-tenant matters and other issues. Residents may call the toll-free line at 888-533-2773.
  • West Maui Health Services has clinic services, including prescription refill and mental health care, available at the Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at mobile clinics throughout West Maui. For more information, call 808-984-8201 or 808-984-8260.


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