August 16, 2023 |

WASHINGTON — FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks addressed business leaders in Hawaii during a call today, providing an update on the agency’s efforts to help survivors jumpstart their recovery from the disastrous wildfires in Maui.

To date, FEMA has provided more than $2.3 million in assistance to more than 1,330 households, including more than $800,000 in initial rental assistance, Hooks said. FEMA wants all survivors to register as soon as possible so that they receive the help they need.

“We want to reach survivors as quickly as we can to get them to apply for assistance,” Hooks said during the call, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Hooks spoke to approximately 275 people on the call, that also included members of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, Maui Chamber of Commerce and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

“The business community is already active in many ways in supporting the businesses and survivors affected by these wildfires,” Hooks said. “Thank you for all you are doing. Our ask of you is to continue to be involved and work with federal and state partners as part of the whole-of-community effort to provide coordinated support to survivors and to help us share information with your employees and customers who are affected.”

FEMA has more than 600 personnel on the ground on Maui who are reaching survivors where they are, and residents now have the option to apply for federal disaster assistance at a joint Disaster Recovery Center that opened today. It is located at the University of Hawaii Maui College, 310 W. Ka’ahumanu Ave., Kahului, Hawaii.

Survivors who have not yet registered can do so 24 hours a day by calling 800-621-3362, visiting or by using the FEMA App. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

Anyone who wishes to donate to help wildfire survivors should donate responsibly. Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through businesses local to the disaster, which supports economic recovery.

For more information on the Hawaii wildfires, visit

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