Recovering from Maui Fires: How to Tap into FEMA Assistance

Updated: Aug 15, 2023, 11:28am PST

In the aftermath of the devastating fires in Lahaina and Kula, the Maui community's resilience and unity have shone brightly. Neighbors, friends, and even strangers have rallied together, offering support in myriad ways and truly embodying the spirit of Aloha. While community strength has been a beacon of hope, it's essential to recognize that there are additional resources available to those affected by this tragedy. One pivotal resource is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA offers a spectrum of assistance, from funds for temporary housing and home repairs to aid for other significant disaster-related expenses. If you or someone you know has been impacted by these fires and needs support, this guide will outline the steps to access FEMA's assistance, ensuring our community has every tool necessary for recovery and rebuilding.

Understanding FEMA's Role

FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a U.S. government agency dedicated to helping citizens before, during, and after disasters. In the case of the Maui fires, FEMA provides financial assistance to eligible individuals and households affected by the disaster.


Eligibility Criteria

1. Confirm Your Eligibility: First, ensure that the Lahaina and Kula fires have been designated as declared disasters. Residents of the affected areas are typically eligible.

2. Begin the Application: There are several ways to apply for FEMA assistance:

3. Keep Track of Your Application: After submitting, you'll receive a nine-digit registration number. This is crucial for all future communications with FEMA. Update them if your contact details change.

4. Home Inspection: If your home in Lahaina or Kula has been damaged, a FEMA inspector will reach out. Always ask for official identification before granting access.

5. Understand the Aid Provided: If you're deemed eligible, funds will be provided, accompanied by a letter detailing the assistance. Ensure you use these funds as directed and keep all receipts.

6. Right to Appeal: If you disagree with FEMA's decision, you have the right to appeal. This must be done within 60 days of receiving your decision letter.

7. Additional Assistance: In some cases, FEMA might refer you to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a disaster loan. This is not just for business owners; homeowners and renters in Lahaina and Kula can also apply here.


The path to recovery after the devastating fires in Lahaina and Kula is challenging. However, with the right information and resources, residents can access the federal assistance they need to help rebuild and recover.

Previous Article Next Article

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published