HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a $283,090 grant to the State of Hawaii to provide immediate crisis counseling services for those affected by the October 15 Kiholo Earthquake.
Persons in need of these services can contact the Hawaii Crisis-Counseling-Immediate Services Program by calling (808) 333-1455 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Ed Teixeira, state coordinating officer reminds us that “although losing a home, business, or personal property to disaster takes a financial toll, the emotional toll a disaster exacts can be devastating, too, and that toll also needs to be addressed."
Crisis counseling helps people deal with emotional reactions, such as sadness or anger, caused by stressful situations. Feelings of stress are not always easily traced to their source, but common reactions to a disaster can include feelings of despair or being overwhelmed, anxiety about the future, difficulty sleeping, recurring nightmares, irritability or feeling “edgy.”
“Stress can show up in many unexpected ways when a disaster strikes,” said Lee Rosenberg, federal coordinating officer. "One of the best ways to combat stress is to have professionals available to help those who may feel overwhelmed when situations are beyond their control."
The Crisis Counseling-Immediate Services Program helps state or local agencies respond to immediate mental health needs with screening, diagnostic, and counseling techniques. It also supports outreach services such as public information and community networking.
To register for other forms of federal and state assistance with recovery from the October earthquake, call FEMA's registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments can call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. You can also register online at www.fema.gov. The deadline for registration with FEMA is December 22, 2006.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal Rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 1-800-323-8603.
SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
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 first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.