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President Trump Approves Individual Assistance for Hawai‘i Island Residents

June 14, 2018, 11:09 PM HST (Updated June 14, 2018, 11:09 PM)
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Individual Assistance Would Unlock Further Federal Relief Funds for Hawai‘i Island Residents Impacted By Kīlauea Eruptions.

The President of the United States has approved Gov. Ige’s request for individual assistance for Hawai‘i County residents who have lost their homes and property in the Kīlauea volcanic eruption that began on May 3.

The approval, coming the day after the governor’s request, means that qualifying residents may receive assistance from the federal government’s full scope of individual assistance programs to address issues such as shelter needs, unemployment, trauma and legal matters.

On Friday, June 15, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Center will be set up at Kea‘au High School in Kea‘au, where county state and federal agencies will initially gather information from residents who have suffered losses.

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Residents whose primary homes were destroyed or whose homes are inaccessible due to the lava flow, should register at the FEMA Disaster Relief Center for possible assistance. The agencies will review each case based on the information provided before making decisions on individual assistance.

Gov. Ige has also asked the federal government to re-consider his request for individual assistance for storm and flood victims on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu.

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The President granted the governor’s previous requests for emergency declarations and public assistance in the wake of the volcanic eruptions in Hawai‘i County and the storms and flooding on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu.

Sen. Schatz, Hilo Town Hall, April 18, 2017. Crystal Richard photo.

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U.S. Senator Brian Schatz released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s approval of the State of Hawai‘i’s request for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Hawai‘i Island residents whose homes have been lost or damaged due to the ongoing Kilauea Volcano eruptions. FEMA’s individual assistance programs will help affected residents access critical federal funding and resources to recover.

“I want to thank FEMA and President Trump for their quick action. This is an extraordinary ongoing disaster, and the federal response has been robust and seamlessly integrated into state, county and community efforts. This is a challenging time for Hawai‘i Island, and this is welcome news.”

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono  issued the following statement following President Trump’s decision to amend the federal disaster declaration for Hawai‘i Island to include Individual Assistance for residents and households affected by the ongoing Kīlauea eruption. The approval of Individual Assistance makes additional federal resources available for affected communities.

“The swift approval of the State’s application for Individual Assistance unlocks much needed resources for residents and households affected by the ongoing Kīlauea eruption,” Sen.Hirono said. “We have a lot of hard work ahead as we continue to respond to and begin to recover from this disaster and I want to thank President Trump and FEMA for their quick action today.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard released the following statement on the President’s approval of FEMA individual assistance for Hawai‘i Island residents impacted by Kilauea’s recent eruptions:

“Over the past six weeks, thousands of people on Hawaiʻi Island have seen their homes, livelihoods,farms, and businesses devoured by lava. For those impacted by this crisis, day-to-day life remains uncertain, with their future unknown. Help and support for basic needs are sorely and urgently needed. This funding will help assist with things like temporary housing, home repairs and replacements, medical needs, child care, transportation, and more.”

A fact sheet on FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) is attached. Individuals in Hawaiʻi County can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  Constituents may call the registration phone number at (800) 621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call (800) 462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call (800)-621-3362.

Click here for information on claiming Individual Assistance

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