Monday, August 14, 2023

How to Help the Maui Community after Devastating Wildfires in Lāhainā and Upcountry Maui

Last week brought us news of multiple, devastating fires across Maui, causing loss of life and property. The fires continue to burn.

According to the County of Maui, multiple structures have burned, and numerous evacuations are in place as firefighter crews continue battling brush and structure fires in the Upcountry and Lahaina areas. The American Red Cross is staffing emergency shelters.

According to the Pacific Disaster Center, as of August 11, 2023, damage assessments related to the Lahaina Fire resulted in an estimated total of 2,719 structures exposed, 2,207 structures damaged or destroyed, and 2,170 acres burned. Eighty-six (86) percent of buildings exposed to the fire were classified as residential.

The people of Maui will need our help in the days to come. Here are some ways you can help now:
  • Maui Red Cross. Providing Shelter and Comfort to Victims.
  • Maui Food Bank. Donate money or drop off your food donations at any Maui location.
  • Maui Humane Society. Donate money to help impacted pets and pet owners; information on how to help lost pets reunite with their owners.
  • University of Hawai‘i Maui College Student Aid Fund. 100% of your gift will directly support students and/or faculty or staff.
  • Maui United Way. Aloha United Way has created the Maui Relief Fund that will go directly to efforts supporting victims of the fires.
  • Maui Community Foundation. The Maui Strong Fund supports Maui communities affected by recent fires, including response and recovery efforts.
  • Hawai‘i Salvation Army. Accepting monetary donations and large volume meal donations from restaurants and certified kitchens to aid in mass meal service at Maui shelters.
Resources for Maui folks Directly Impacted:
  • Maui Nui Strong. Donate. Volunteer. Find resources. Maui Nui Strong is a County of Maui economic development program that connects its residents, businesses, and visitors to useful information about Maui County, its diverse islands, and various resources that help promote thriving and vibrant communities.
  • Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, State of Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency supports wildfire response and recovery efforts in Hawai‘i and Maui counties. Daily situation updates are posted on Facebook
  • Hawaiʻi Fire Relief Housing Program. A program offered by the Hawai‘i Housing Finance & Development Corporation, State of Hawai‘i. The program aims to connect those in urgent need of housing due to the Maui fires with Hawaiʻi homeowners willing to assist by temporarily offering unoccupied rooms, units, or houses.
  • Maui Fire Resources. This list includes information on Shelters, Finding Loved Ones, Returning Home, FEMA Individual Assistance, Food Assistance, Small Business Administration Disaster Loans, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Distress Helpline, and more from the Office of U.S. Representative Jill Tokuda.
  • Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi (LASH). Coordinates and collaborates on pro bono disaster recovery legal services, part of the State’s emergency recovery efforts. Their Maui response page is up.
  • Hawai‘i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Guidance regarding Insurance Policy Claims Following Wildfires.
  • Hawai‘i State Bar Association Legal Hotline. FREE legal hotline to provide legal assistance to the residents of Maui and the Big Island. Attorneys will be available to answer questions regarding document replacement, insurance claims process, landlord-tenant matters, and other issues.
May our family, friends, and neighbors on Maui stay safe.

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