FEMA Cost-Share Adjustment Means More Funds for Hawaiʻi

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Release Date:
June 7, 2024

HONOLULU – President Biden has made additional disaster assistance available to the State of Hawaiʻi by authorizing an increase in federal funding for emergency protective measures taken as a result of the  Aug. 8 wildfires and high winds in Hawaiʻi and Maui counties. 

The president’s approval to increase funding provided through FEMA’s Public Assistance program was signed June 5. 

Due to the scale and amount of damage caused by the wildfires, federal funds for emergency protective measures conducted in Hawaiʻi and Maui counties are now authorized at 100% of the total eligible costs for 180 days from Aug. 8 to Feb. 4. This added flexibility—the maximum authorized under FEMA’s Public Assistance program—allows the state and local communities to maximize cost savings for the initial 180day period when the greatest costs were incurred. 

FEMA’s Public Assistance program is a cost-sharing program and FEMA’s largest grant program, providing funding to help communities respond to and recover from major presidentially declared disasters or emergencies. 

Two days after the wildfires, the president approved a major disaster declaration. That Aug. 10 declaration made Public Assistance funding available to help pay for emergency services to save lives and protect property, for debris removal and for projects to permanently restore community infrastructure damaged or destroyed in the wildfires. 

On Sept. 8, the federal share for Public Assistance projects was increased to 90% of total eligible costs. By the end of September, federal funding for debris removal specifically was authorized at 100% of the total eligible costs for a continuous 180-day period of the state’s choosing within a nine-month period of the incident start date. As a result of the president’s June 5 approval, the federal share for all such Public Assistance projects are 100% of total eligible costs from Aug. 8 to Feb. 4.   

Under Public Assistance, the federal share of funding is reimbursed through the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency to disburse to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred those costs. The remaining 10% represents nonfederal funds. 

For the latest information on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts, visit mauicounty.gov, mauirecovers.org, fema.gov/disaster/4724 and Hawaii Wildfires - YouTube. Follow FEMA on social media: @FEMARegion9 and facebook.com/fema. You may also get disaster assistance information and download applications at sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires.

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