FEMA, Federal Agencies Continue Hawaii Response Efforts

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
August 14, 2023

WASHINGTON -- As response efforts continue, FEMA is sending additional personnel to Hawaii to support wildfire recovery efforts. Personnel on the ground are working with state, local and private entities to develop a temporary shelter and housing solutions. 

Additionally, FEMA is offering Transitional Sheltering Assistance and Critical Needs Assistance to eligible survivors that gives a short-term place to stay and funds for critical needs like water, food and medicines.

There are now more than 300 FEMA employees and more than 140 search and rescue team members deployed to assist Hawaii residents in their greatest time of need, including 45 Disaster Survivor Assistance staff who are visiting Red Cross shelters on Maui to help survivors register for assistance and identify and report any critical needs.

FEMA has already received more than 3,000 valid registrations for federal assistance and continues to urge Maui residents affected by the wildfires to apply for disaster assistance. People with limited phone and internet access can register with FEMA staff in person at shelters. Others can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 1-800-621- 3362 or by using the FEMA App. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

FEMA provides financial assistance and direct services to eligible individuals and households.

  • Survivors may be eligible for financial assistance for immediate or critical needs including life-saving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation.
  • Survivors may also be eligible to stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited amount of time if they are unable to return to their damaged, primary residence. 

Recognizing the broad diversity of affected residents, the agency is working closely with state and county partners to ensure that FEMA's efforts are conducted with appropriate cultural sensitivity, and that materials are available in the languages spoken by those in need.

Additional Federal, State and Voluntary Actions

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service approved Hawaii’s request for impacted Child Nutrition Programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. 
  • American Red Cross and Maui County continue to staff and support six shelters where food, water, hygiene kits and other essential resources are provided to survivors who are unable to return home. FEMA survivor assistance specialists are located at the shelters helping people register for federal assistance. Those affected by the fires may visit a Red Cross shelter to get a hot meal, charge their phone and access other essential support. 
  • Local and national Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) are providing emergency assistance to survivors. Those seeking to donate to the recovery efforts, can do so by visiting hawaiistatevoad.org.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is helping clear roads, stabilizing electric service and working with the Environmental Protection Agency on the removal of hazardous waste essential to recovery work in the affected areas. 
  • As fire containment efforts continue, FEMA continues response efforts. This includes search and rescue operations, including canine search teams. In addition, 17 specialists from the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team are on Maui, with additional teams enroute to assist the state.

FEMA Urges Everyone Impacted by the Wildfires to Stay Safe

  • For state and local safety information and updates, visit:  hawaii.gov.
  • Text, not talk, is best for locations that have connectivity. 
  • Maui County updates are broadcast via radio stations at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. HST. 
  • FEMA launched a rumors page to keep survivors and communities safe after the Hawaii wildfires. 
  • For information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov.  
  • To learn more about the Hawaii Wildfires response and recovery efforts, visit FEMA.gov
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