For Minor Disaster Related Expenses
American Red Cross, Pacific Region
The Red Cross is able to give small grants (about $120.00) to folks in need through their Case Management/ Recovery program which is available at both of their shelters in Keaau and Pahoa.
Salvation Army of Hawaii
According to a newsletter, the Salvation Army has given out $100 vouchers to 40 households which can be redeemed in their Salvation Army stores on the island.
Catholic Charities of Hawaii
Catholic Charities is also helping with disaster expenses and can be reached at 808 935-4673.
Local churches often have small assistance funds which they can use to help disaster victims in need.
For Larger Disaster Related Expenses
The primary source of funds to replace homes and businesses is home and business insurance. This subject will be more fully covered in the Insurance section of the website.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA makes most of its financial contributions by directly supplementing State and Local government programs, but does have a program to help individuals called the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).
- According to FEMA, the IHP is not a substitute for insurance and cannot compensate for all losses caused by a disaster. According to the FEMA regional head for Hawaii an average assistance amount for the Kilauea disaster will likely average about $4,000, according to the West Hawaii newspaper article. Assistance can be used to provide short term housing and to make minor house repairs, but requires documentation including insurance papers and a post disaster home assessment.
- The FEMA program may be applied for at disasterassistance.gov and will also serve as an application to 16 other federal government agencies. It does not include grants for businesses and agricultural related assistance which must be applied for through the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture.
- An application may be pre-requested before a Presidential declaration is approved. It can also be applied for via a FEMA phone app.
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration provides affordable disaster financial loans to non-farm businesses, private and nonprofit businesses, and homeowners and renters. SBA has two types of loans: Physical Disaster Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans which focus on business losses, regardless of physical losses. Farm related disaster loans will be covered under Agricultural Assistance.
Physical Disaster Loans
- Business Loans: Up to $2 Million (depending on uncompensated damages).
- Homeowner Loans: Up to $200,000 to repair or replace home to its pre-disaster condition.
- Renters Loans: Up to $40,000 to help repair or replace household items including automobiles.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Business Working Capital Loan: Up to $2 Million to cover ordinary and necessary operating expenses as they recover from disaster.
SBA assists in approving disaster loans to applicants with good credit histories and repayment abilities. Government regulations allows the SBA to work to make Small Business loans more affordable at lower rates and with longer terms. These loans may be applied for at SBA’s secure website at: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela