HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Although the storms have passed and much has been cleaned up, every resident affected by the recent severe storms and flooding is encouraged to call and apply for assistance because many types of damage are eligible for assistance. If you’re a homeowner, renter or business owner and you have damage, simply pick up the phone and place a call to register, urge state and federal disaster recovery officials.
“I want to clear up any confusion about who should register. Anyone who has had damage could be eligible but there’s no way to know if they don’t apply. That’s the first step in finding out if you qualify for assistance,” stresses Mike Karl, FEMA federal coordinating officer. “Don’t pre-judge your own eligibility.”
Vice Director of Civil Defense Edward Teixeira reminds those affected by the disaster, that even if they’ve reported their damages to local officials, applied for assistance through other agencies, or have insurance, they still need to apply with FEMA to be eligible for federal and state recovery programs.
Those affected by the severe storms and flooding can apply for assistance in three ways:
- Toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
- Online at the FEMA website www.fema.gov .
- A Disaster Recovery Center located at:
4211 Waialae Ave
49-560 Kamehameha Highway,
Open noon to 8 p.m. through Friday, May 19. Kahala Mall is also open Saturday, May 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A variety of state and federal assistance programs are available including grants for short-term rental needs; grants to make minimal home repairs; low-interest U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to repair major damage and/or replace damaged personal property to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profits; and grants to meet serious disaster-related needs not covered by other programs.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.