The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced various relief efforts in response to the lethal wildfires in Hawaii. More than 250 FEMA personnel are deployed to assist Hawaii residents in their greatest time of need, including 45 Disaster Survivor Assistance staff who are visiting shelters in Maui to help survivors register for assistance and identify and report any critical needs. FEMA is working with several federal agencies to provide support to state organizations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service approved Hawaii’s request for impacted Child Nutrition Programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The USDA is also coordinating pet reunification activities on the ground and is assessing ability to supply food and water to large animals in Lahaina. 

The U.S. Department of State granted a fee waiver for people who lost their U.S. passport book or passport card as a result of the wildfires in Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved a public health emergency effective Aug. 8 through Nov. 6, which provides greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in Hawaii.

FEMA mission assigned debris management and temporary emergency power to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to help clear up roads and stabilize electric service as well as the Environmental Protection Agency for household hazardous waste removal activities that are essential to begin recovery work in the impacted areas. USACE also completed its initial hazardous materials assessment in Maui. 

Additional relief strategies include:

  • The American Red Cross and Maui County continue to staff and support six shelters where food, water, hygiene kits and other essential resources are provided to survivors who are unable to return home.
  • Hawaiian Electric restored additional circuits in West Maui and crews completed the installation of a mobile substation at the Lahainaluna substation, which is expected to help restore power to customers in the neighboring subdivisions. 
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is actively conducting assessments of critical infrastructure and communications systems and coordinating with private sector partners to establish temporary communications solutions. 
  • Hawaii National Guard has staff in Maui with another 200 staff expected in the coming days to support Maui Police Department safety and security activities in the impacted areas.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has flight restrictions in place in Maui to assist emergency response efforts. 
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting underwater surveys of the Lahaina harbor using sonar technology to identify structural damage.