LIST: Need help navigating recovery assistance from the Maui wildfires? These resources can help
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly three months since devastating wildfires tore through Maui, confusion and concerns remain when it comes to recovery efforts.
To help those affected, FEMA outlined the following list of resources and agencies that could help you and your family as well as what you will need to apply for assistance.
FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have approved more than $242.8 million in federal assistance to survivors of the wildfires and high winds in Maui.
The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance and a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan for homeowners, renters and businesses for physical property damage is Nov. 9.
The last day for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofit organizations to apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan is May 10, 2024.
Ways to apply for FEMA assistance
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
- Use the FEMA mobile app
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service such as Video Relay Service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service when you apply. Helpline operators speak many languages and lines are open from 1 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
- For an American Sign Language video on how to apply, click here.
- Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. Three Disaster Recovery Centers are open on Maui. At the centers, survivors can speak to FEMA specialists, get assistance applying for disaster assistance, connect with voluntary organizations and access other federal and state resources.
|Maui Disaster Recovery Centers||Address||Hours/Days of Operation|
|Kahului||University of Hawaii Maui College
Community Services Building 205
310 W. Kaahumanu Avenue
Kahului, Hawaii 96732
|8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday
|Lahaina||Lahaina Civic Center Gymnasium
1840 Honoapi‘ilani Highway
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
|8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday
What FEMA will need when you apply
- Name and Social Security Number of primary applicant
- Name and Social Security Number of co-applicant (encouraged, but not required)
- Current contact information
- Current and pre-disaster address (include ZIP code)
- Names of all occupants of the pre-disaster household
- Types of insurance held by the household
- Household pre-disaster annual gross income
- Losses caused by the disaster
- Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit of funds, if requested
- FEMA is actively seeking property owners here in Hawaii who want to temporarily lease their vacation homes or other units to FEMA for use by disaster survivors. Interested property owners may send inquiries to: FEMA-DR4724-HI-Contracting@fema.dhs.gov.
- Free, confidential crisis counseling services are available to wildfire survivors. Call Hawaii Cares toll free at 800-753-6879 or dial or text Hawaii Cares using the 3-digit calling code 988. This service is available all day, every day.
- If you are facing civil legal issues as a result of the wildfires and you cannot afford an attorney, you can now get legal advice by calling the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s toll-free lines at 808-536-4302 or 800-499-4302. The Disaster Legal Services national hotline is 888-743-5749. Free legal advice may be accessed online at hawaii.freelegalanswers.org.
FEMA has approved two direct housing programs to help Maui County survivors move out of hotels and into more permanent housing.
- Direct Lease: FEMA leases residential properties for use by survivors.
- Multi-Family Lease and Repair program: FEMA arranges to repair owners’ multi-family dwellings in exchange for owners agreeing to temporarily house eligible applicants.
Maui County, the State of Hawaii, FEMA and the private sector are seeking owners of rental units suitable for families and individuals for both programs. The units are offered to survivors for up to 18 months, until Feb. 10, 2024.
For continued rental assistance:
- Complete an Application for Continued Temporary Housing Assistance. To request the form, or to get help completing it, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.
The state Department of Human Services and Maui Economic Opportunity offers cash assistance to families affected by the wildfires.
- Eligible families must have at least one dependent child and experienced property loss or damage, and a reduction of earnings or employment as a direct result of the fires.
- Families can apply first to FEMA before applying to the Maui relief program. Call 808-243-4316; email NRST@meoinc.org or visit meoinc.org.
Transportation assistance now available for Maui disaster survivors
Survivors whose homes were lost or damaged after the wildfires and high winds may be eligible for FEMA transportation assistance to travel to or from a temporary residence off the island of Maui.
- The program gives Maui survivors more temporary housing options on other Hawaiian islands, the continental United States or any other U.S.-governed location.
- Those affected could be eligible for one roundtrip fare for all household members, household pets and service animals. If you’ve already vacated the island, whether by assistance from FEMA or on your own, you may be eligible for a one-way fare for all household members to return to Maui.
Survivors who had high wind damage may be eligible for FEMA assistance
Maui survivors who applied for FEMA assistance and reported their homes were damaged by high winds but not by the wildfires may now be eligible for FEMA assistance.
- Officials said you do not need to re-apply since you were asked about the cause of damage during your initial registration. Your application will be adjusted automatically.
- If you did not include wind damage when you applied, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 and add the cause of damage to your application.
Non-Citizens may apply for disaster assistance
- Survivors who do not qualify for federal assistance may still call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for referrals to other sources of aid.
- To be eligible for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, you must have had losses or damage from the wildfires on Maui but you can apply from anywhere you currently reside.
American Red Cross continues to assist wildfire survivors
The organization is providing meals, health and mental care, help with navigating complex paperwork, funeral expenses, financial support to transition out of hotels, and other services to survivors, including those who are not eligible for some FEMA programs.
- Disaster survivors are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Red Cross at RedCross.org/HIhelp or speak to a Red Cross representative at any Disaster Recovery Center.
Learn about repair and rebuilding through Nov. 11 in Kahului
- FEMA specialists are providing free repair and rebuilding tips at The Home Depot, 100 Pakaula St. in Kahului, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until Nov. 11. Specialists will not be available Sunday, Nov. 5.
FEMA assistance includes funeral expenses
- FEMA assistance may be available for funeral or reburial costs as a result of the wildfires.
- Even if you live outside the county, you and your family may still qualify for funeral assistance if the death occurred within the disaster area. To request funeral assistance, you must first apply to FEMA.
Visit MauiRecovers.org for reopening and recovery information
- Lahaina residents and business owners may apply for permits on a zone-by-zone basis at the Lahaina Civic Center and the County of Maui Kalana O Maui building.
- To identify your zone, visit mauirecovers.org and sign up to subscribe to the latest updates.
- Personal Protective Equipment and water, shade, washing stations and portable toilets are available to all participants on designated re-entry days.
- The Hawaii Department of Health provides guidance on the risks of re-entry to the impacted areas: Re-Entry Guidance & Hazard Advisory.
- For answers to your Frequently Asked Questions, go to mauirecovers.org/recovery/reentry.
- Check the Lahaina Re-entry Map by clicking here.
- Go to mauinuistrong.info/getsupport.
How to appeal FEMA’s decision
An appeal is a written request to FEMA to review your application for disaster assistance. It is also an opportunity to provide new or additional information not previously submitted that may affect FEMA’s decision.
- Submit your appeal to FEMA within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for more information. Learn more: fema.gov/fact-sheet/how-appeal-femas-decision-10
U.S. Small Business Administration
- Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires.
- Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- For people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or have a speech disability, dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Other federal resources
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing a 90-day relief until Nov. 8 from foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages and home equity conversion mortgages.
- Homeowners can call the FHA Resource Center at 800-304-9320 or visit hud.gov for more information.
- HUD-certified housing agencies can provide additional counseling about your post-disaster housing needs. To find a HUD-approved agency, visit hud.gov/findacounselor or call 800-569-4287 or 202-708-1455 (TTY).
Additional state and voluntary resources
- The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is connecting survivors to a variety of community support services at its Kakao Maui Resource Hub at 70 Kaahumanu Avenue in Kahului. The Resource Hub is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
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