HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Individuals, households, and businesses in Hawaii County are now eligible for assistance to help them recover from losses due to the October 15 earthquake.
The presidential disaster declaration of October 17 made Hawaii eligible for federal disaster aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. That declaration was amended today to include the Individual Assistance program for Hawaii County . Individual Assistance includes grants of funds that can be used for authorized purposes such as temporary housing, home repairs, and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance.
This includes the U.S. Small Business Administration which provides the following forms of a ssistance for affected homeowners, renters, businesses, and private non-profit organizations in Hawaii County:
- Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans are available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $1.5 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
- Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $1.5 million.
Today's amendment also makes funding available to eligible organizations in Hawaii County for permanent repair to roads and bridges; water control facilities; buildings and equipment; utilities; and parks, recreational facilities, and other items.
"Residents and business owners in Hawaii County who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance immediately," said Ed Teixeira, State Coordinating Officer. They can register online at www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with hearing or speech impairments can call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). These toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
"To be considered for federal assistance, applicants must first register with FEMA," said Michael L. Karl, Federal Coordinating Officer. "I can't stress that enough. Even if they have registered for assistance with the American Red Cross, a state agency, or another organization, they must also register with FEMA on line or by calling 1-800-621-3362."
The phone conversation only takes about 20 minutes, Karl said. Callers will be asked for general information about their income, insurance coverage and damage to their residence or business. They should be prepared to give details about their housing needs, the location of the damaged property and a phone number where they can be reached.
Callers should have the following information available:
- Applicant's full legal name
- Applicant's Social Security number
- Current telephone number(s)
- Current and pre-disaster addresses
- Insurance coverage, policy number(s) and agent's name
- Proof of residency
State Civil Defense coordinates state-wide emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation programs for a wide range of natural and human-caused threats and disasters including terrorism. As part of its responsibilities, State Civil Defense manages state and federal grants provided to local communities for disaster recovery and mitigation.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other f...