Office of the Governor – News Release – Pres. Biden Approves Federal Disaster Relief for Hawai‘i

Posted on Aug 10, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., was notified this morning that President Joseph Biden has approved his request for a federal disaster declaration.

“This is a tragic day for everyone in Hawai‘i and the nation. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and the survivors suffering through the deadliest natural disaster the state has seen in generations,” said Governor Green.

“In the coming days — as more and more details emerge — I ask that we as a state provide all the emotional and financial support we can to the people of Lahaina and Maui. As governor of the State of Hawai‘i, I pledge to spare no resources to combat the destructive wildfires, shelter the displaced, treat and bring comfort to the traumatized, support our first responders, restore communication lines and enlist the aid of our federal and county partners to confront this this once-in-a-lifetime catastrophe,” he said.

President Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Hawai‘i and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the ongoing wildfires that began on August 8.

His action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Maui County. The assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, as well as other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the the disaster.

Federal funding also will be available to state and eligible county governments, as well as to certain private, nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis, for debris removal and emergency protective measures in Maui County. Assistance for emergency protective measures for Hawai‘i County also will be made available.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

The White House statement indicated that Mr. Maona N. Ngwira of FEMA has been appointed to coordinate federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

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Media Contacts:   

Erika Engle 

Press Secretary 

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i 

Office: (808) 586-0120 

Email: [email protected]

Makana McClellan   

Director of Communications   

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi  

Cell: (808) 265-0083   

Email: [email protected]