December '08 storm victims reminded to apply for federal grants

Shelly Ichishita
Shelly Ichishita

By Diane Ako - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - If you live or work on Oahu and your property was damaged during the Dec. 10 through Dec. 16 storms and flooding, emergency managers have a reminder for you. If you want to apply for federal disaster assistance, make sure you've registered correctly!

State Civil Defense says it estimates a thousand or more people were affected by the storms, but are surprised that only about 600 people have registered. They think there's confusion based on the similar sounding names of the disaster centers. One was by the city and county. The other is from the federal government.

Shelly Ichishita, public information officer for State Civil Defense, theorized, "Maybe people who visited a DARC - Disaster Assistance Recovery Center- think they don't need to visit a Disaster Recovery Center. but if they want to apply for federal aid they should visit the Disaster Recovery Center."

The Disaster Recovery Centers will be open for another few weeks. They are open Monday through Friday 12-8 p.m. and Saturdays 9-5. They are in Haleiwa, Laie, and Waianae.

The assistance is in the form of grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Affected residents are encouraged to register for federal disaster assistance either by calling FEMA's tele-registration number 1-800-621-3362 (for hearing or speech impaired TTY 800-462-7585) or going online at

SBA Disaster loan information and application forms are available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling toll-free (800) 659 2955, emailing, or visiting SBA's Web site at Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877 8339.

After registering with FEMA applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure Web site at