PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A total of 1,419 Hawaii County residents visited the Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers (DARCs) organized, set up and ran by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency from Aug. 14 to 15 at the Pahoa Community Center and from Aug. 16 to 17 at the Mountain View Gym.
At the DARCs, individuals were provided information on disaster-related services and encouraged to register their damage with the state. Agencies represented at the DARCs were:
State of Hawaii
• State Department of Agriculture – Offered information on farming programs, commercial farm loans and emergency farm loans
• State Department of Health – Offered mental health services, counseling, information from the Hawaii Family Guidance Center, food safety information, and hazardous materials and waste water reporting
• State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs – Offered information on hurricane, homeowner, auto, renter's and business insurance policies
• State Department of Human Services – Offered information on SNAP replacement and food stamp programs, as well as offered applications for food stamps DHS will continue to assist Hawaii County residents at Nanawale Estates Community Center, Leilani Estates Community Center, and Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until Aug. 22.
• County Planning/Public Works – Offered road repair, building permits, damage assessment, dangerous tree assessment, and information on absentee owners
• County Housing and Community Development – Offered emergency repairs, loans and partial grants for households, Section 8 wait listing, National Guard damage assessments, and other services
• County Real Property Tax Office – Offered information on reduction of property tax and tax credit for damaged homes, as well as assistance in locating tax ID addresses
• County Department of Environmental Management – Offered information on where to send batteries
Federal Agencies / Nonprofits / Other
• U.S. Department of Agriculture – Offered commercial farm loans, agricultural disaster programs and emergency loans, assistance with tree replacement, and assistance to rural families through grant and loan programs for repair
• Pacific Disaster Center – Offered assistance in locating addresses
• Hawaii State Bar Association – Offered legal assistance
• All Hands – Offered coordinated volunteer assistance with debris removal, removal of wet carpets, and minor repairs
• American Red Cross – Continued to offer disaster assistance and distribution of meals and other items
• Salvation Army – Offered emergency disaster services
• Catholic Charities – Offered case work and other critical services
• Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – Provided support to survivors and coordinated volunteer services
For those who were unable to visit the DARCs, Hawaii County will continue to take damage reports at (808) 935-0031. Requests for volunteer help can be made at (808) 464-3175.