HONOLULU – FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance specialists are on Maui, assisting residents affected by the devastating wildfires address immediate needs and directing them to other forms of assistance from county, state, federal and nonprofit programs.
These teams were part of the initial wave of responders who arrived on the island and immediately began meeting with survivors. Specialists have connected hundreds of people to crisis counselors, veteran services, the American Red Cross and other Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. To date, the teams have visited more than 430 homes and have helped more than 1,450 survivors apply for federal assistance.
To meet survivors’ needs, teams are going to neighborhoods, visiting temporary housing sites and are making themselves available to answer questions at Disaster Recovery Centers. The centers are open every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University of Hawai.i Maui College, 310 W. Ka’ahumanu Ave., Kahului, and Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, 91 Pukalani St., Makawao.
Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities and those with access and functional needs. They offer communication services including assistive technology for persons needing sight or hearing accommodations, American Sign Language or expertise in other languages.
Disaster Survivor Assistance teams put compassion and respect at the forefront of every interaction, and they are equipped to help residents apply for assistance, even in the toughest conditions.