WASHINGTON — FEMA, along with its federal and local agency partners, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) member organizations and many other volunteer and faith-based organizations continues responding to survivors’ immediate needs following the devastating wildfires in Maui.

FEMA and federal partners are supporting the state of Hawaii, focusing on search and rescue operations and assessing damages in the impacted areas. There are now over 200 FEMA personnel deployed to the state and working with local officials to help distribute commodities and aid recovery efforts.

Nonprofit and voluntary organizations have been working around the clock to support the wildfire survivors, as VOADs, volunteer organizations and faith-based groups are providing meals and clothing, cleaning up debris and helping survivors jump-start their recovery.

Anyone interested in providing assistance to disaster survivors in Hawaii may visit the National VOAD website at www.nvoad.org to learn more. Consider cash donations as it allows the most flexibility in obtaining time sensitive resources and has the added benefit of moving money into the local economy to help businesses recover.

In addition to federal, state and county response operations:

The American Red Cross: Red Cross disaster workers responded immediately, opening shelters across Maui to provide refuge for thousands of residents and tourists who have been displaced by the fires. Since the fires began, the Red Cross and partners have provided almost 2,900 overnight shelter stays. As of Saturday, approximately 240 Red Cross personnel are responding or actively deploying.

The Salvation Army is bringing food, shelter, hygiene items and emotional and spiritual care to survivors. They are providing thousands of meals to individuals and families at the Maui County Pukalani Shelter.

The Disability Hui led by the Hawaii State Council on Developmental Disabilities convened 16 partner organizations who serve people with disabilities and the aging community. Together they are working directly with Maui County on continued reunification services to account for every one of their clients. They are coordinating with community agencies, including Catholic Charities and the American Red Cross, to provide direct contact information for the disability organizations to every person with a disability who is staying at shelters and to those who may benefit from their services.

Americares emergency response experts are in transit to Hawaii to support the hardest-hit communities. Upon arrival, the team will assess the needs of local health care facilities, coordinate emergency shipments of medicine and relief supplies. Americares is readying hygiene kits, first aid supplies and other critically needed items to send to partner organizations in Hawaii. The health-focused relief and development organization is also prepared to provide emergency funding to help restore health services for low-income and uninsured residents in affected communities.  =

Samaritan’s Purse deployed North American Ministries assessment teams to determine relief and support with debris clearance and sifting. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are also on the island to provide emotional support and spiritual comfort to residents suffering in the wake of so much loss.

The Home Cleanup Hotline has been activated. It is anticipated that most volunteer groups will work through Friday, Aug. 25. Survivors needing assistance can call (808) 451-3102.

Hawaii residents impacted by the wildfires in Maui county can register for federal assistance by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, through the FEMA App, or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Residents who use a relay service, such as video relay or captioned telephone service, can give the FEMA operator the number for that service.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *