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Fact Sheet: FEMA’s Work on Behalf of Survivors

FEMA’s Work on Behalf of Survivors


  • Representatives of FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance teams continue field work in disaster-area communities and shelters to meet with residents who suffered damage from the Kilauea eruptions.
    • Their goal is to help ensure that all eligible survivors are aware of the assistance available to them.


  • FEMA encourages all affected by the lava flow and earthquakes to apply for assistance by registering. This is to ensure that no one who is eligible for assistance is overlooked.
  • Kilauea survivors should not hesitate to apply for FEMA aid because they think it might keep less-fortunate neighbors from getting help.


  • Many survivors worked one-on-one with FEMA representatives during, and following, the registration process.
    • Not everyone who registers for assistance is eligible to receive assistance. There should be no surprises when the amount of aid is determined, or if assistance is denied.
  • After a survivor registers with FEMA for disaster aid, an inspector will contact them to verify damage. The call may be from a restricted number. If the call goes to voicemail, the inspector will leave a call-back number.


  • Residents who have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance have the right to appeal the agency’s decisions about their eligibility or the assistance they received.
    • Applicants have 60 days from the date on FEMA’s decision letter to file an appeal.
    • To submit an appeal, survivors should explain in writing, and include specific information about why they disagree with the FEMA decision.
    • For instructions on how to file and where to submit paperwork, call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-3362. Or, visit the Disaster Recovery Center in the Kea‘au High School Gymnasium, 16-725 Kea‘au-Pahoa Road   Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


  • FEMA coordinates the federal response, calling upon its federal partners for resources and personnel. During the response, FEMA directed the work of 12 separate federal agencies to support state efforts.
Last Updated: 
07/06/2018 - 15:03