Disaster Relief Center to open

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open a Disaster Relief Center on Kaua‘i Tuesday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center will be located at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall.

Federal, state and county officials will be on hand at the DRC to answer questions and offer assistance to those who suffered losses due to the recent heavy rains.

The opening of the Disaster Relief Center follows President Bush’s major disaster declaration for the City and County of Honolulu and Kaua‘i County last week.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to residents of Kaua‘i, including grants to help pay for temporary housing, hazard mitigation, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses.

Additionally, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

“Residents and business owners in the affected areas who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance immediately,” said Mike Karl, federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu, in a press release.

Registration can be done online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Those with hearing or speech impairments can call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).

The toll-free telephone numbers will be operating 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., Hawai‘i Standard Time, Monday through Friday, until further notice.

The phone call takes approximately 20 minutes. Callers should have the following information available n applicant’s full legal name, applicant’s social security number, current telephone number(s), current and pre-disaster addresses, insurance coverage, policy number(s) and agent’s name, proof of residency, and a concise statement of the type, location and extent of damage.

According to Karl, anyone who suffered losses due to the storms should register with FEMA, even those with insurance.

“Disaster assistance may still be available to help you with uninsured or underinsured losses or expenses,” said Karl in the release.

For additional information, please call the Kaua‘i Civil Defense Agency at 241-1800.

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