While the containment percentages have not changed significantly over the past several days, the Maui Fire Department (MFD) wants to reassure the public that there are no active fire threats at this time. The fires are not advancing, but full containment can be more difficult to establish and determine in urban settings. MFD continues to utilize infrared technology, water drops, and firefighters to locate and address hot spots in the ongoing effort to fully extinguish these fires.
The most up-to-date fatality numbers and identification information are included in the Maui Police Department’s daily press release, anticipated to be issued by 6 p.m. daily. For that information, please visit: bit.ly/MauiPoliceNews . As of today, there are 115 confirmed fatalities with 100% of the single-story, residential properties searched in the disaster area. Search teams are searching multi-story residential and commercial properties. Approximately 341 emergency personnel and 50 canine units are conducting the search.
POWER and COMMUNICATIONS
Hawaiian Electric energized a second mobile substation in Lahaina area today, 8/22, as crews work to restore a majority of West Maui customers by this weekend and continue to safely rebuild sections of Maui’s electric grid. About 1,800 West Maui customers and approximately 50 Upcountry customers remain without power.
When attempting to connect with loved ones in areas of low cell phone or internet connectivity, it is best to text not call. Though there is coverage in these areas the capacity is still building, which can result in dropped calls. Maui County updates will continue to be aired daily at noon on local radio stations.
SHELTERS and HOUSING
Nearly 2,400 individuals are sheltered at 10 hotel locations around Maui, in coordination with the American Red Cross (ARC). More 146,000 meals have been served to date by the Salvation Army and ARC at shelters throughout the disaster response. The current shelter locations include:
To qualify for these hotel shelters, you must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This can be done at a joint Disaster Recovery Center that operates daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, 310 W. Ka‘ahumanu Ave., Pilina Building, Kahului. You can also visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4724, call 800-621-3362, or apply through the FEMA smartphone application.
The State Dept. of Human Services announced an additional 250 Air BnB units are available to displaced residents or families on Maui for 21-day stays. Go to Lahaina Gateway Center, Tuesday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to pre-register.
Landlords, management companies, and homeowners from across the state have offered to rent more than 900 houses, apartment units and rooms immediately to the thousands of Maui residents who lost their homes to the wildfires. Of the 900-plus properties offered to date, just over half the properties are on Maui, about 30% are on Oʻahu, with 10 proposals from owners of property outside of Hawaiʻi. Nearly 80 families have been placed into housing through the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC). For assistance call (808) 587-0469 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email [email protected]
MEDICAL and NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT
A Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) replacement benefit is available for recipients who experienced loss of food as a result of the recent wildfires. The replacement will be for the amount of the loss, not to exceed the 8/2023 monthly allotment for the household. Replacements will be authorized if reported between 8/14 thru 9/15/2023. To apply for SNAP replacement benefits, please visit the Processing Center in your area or call the Public Assistance Information Line 1-855-643-1643.
The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) helps uninsured people after disasters to be sure they still have the medicines and medical equipment they normally use to stay healthy. To enroll, call 1-855-793-7470 or visit https://aspr.hhs.gov/epap for more information from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Hawaii CARES 988 is a 24/7 support service for help with crisis, mental health, and substance abuse. If you, a family member (including keiki), or someone you know need confidential assistance with a trained crisis counselor, please call/text 988 (TTY 711) or visit the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline’s chat.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER
For those seeking information regarding loved ones or those who are unaccounted for, the Family Assistance Center is located at the Hyatt Regency’s Monarchy Ballroom, 200 Nohea Kai Drive in Kaʻanapali. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Expanded resources will be offered, with staff working with families and individuals to gather information and administer DNA swabs to assist with identification. For details, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (or 1-800-733-27677).
If you live on a neighbor island or the continental U.S., are the immediate family member of a person missing as the result of the Maui wildfires, and you wish to provide a DNA sample to assist, please call the Federal Bureau of Investigation Honolulu Division at (808) 566-4300. DNA samples are only for identification of wildfire victims and survivors, and will not be stored or used for any other purpose. In some cases, this information may be the best way to determine identification with regards to the destructive nature of the wildfires.
UNSAFE WATER ADVISORY
The Unsafe Water Advisory remains in effect for Lahaina and Upper Kula. Until further notice, residents in these areas should only use bottled water or potable water provided from tankers for things like drinking, brushing teeth, ice-making, and food preparation. For potable water please bring large water containers, at least 5 gallon capacity, to:
Lahaina Gateway Center
Kula Fire Station
Kula Community Center
Residents in impacted areas are not able to treat the water in any way to make it safe to consume, with contaminants such as benzene and other volatile organic chemicals entering the water system. Residents are further advised to: limit their use of hot water, reduce shower times while using lukewarm water in a ventilated area, not take baths, use a dishwasher and the air dry setting, wash clothes in cold water, dry laundry outdoors, avoid hot tubs or swimming pools, and use proper ventilation when using water indoors. An updated map of the areas impacted by the Unsafe Water Advisory is available on the Department of Water Supply website, mauicounty.gov/water. Water sampling will continue Sunday and beyond.
ENTRY INTO DISASTER AREAS
Currently, the disaster area is restricted to authorized personnel only. At this time, media and residents are not allowed in the disaster area as significant hazards exist. For those accessing areas outside of the disaster area, the county urges individuals to continue to avoid all burn areas and do not enter any areas where structures were burned until you receive a clearance from authorities.
Dangers include ash that may contain toxic, cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos, arsenic, and lead with debris including broken glass, exposed electrical wires, nails, wood, plastics, and other objects. Unstable buildings and structures may contain hazardous materials and could collapse causing injury. For those who can return to their properties County officials urge all individuals to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) For more recommendations regarding PPE go to bit.ly/WestMauiCaution
Recovery and other emergency response operators have been instructed to report any stray animal sightings to the Maui County Emergency Operations Center. The information will then be provided to the Maui Humane Society so they can safely retrieve, rehabilitate, and support the reported animal(s). This protocol has already resulted in the rescue and treatment of animals in the disaster area.
In addition, the Maui Humane Society reports having distributed more than 17,000 lbs of pet food and supplies to pet owners affected by the wildfires. They continue to offer these goods, as well at veterinary services, at several distribution sites island-wide. Please visit mauihumanesociety.org for the latest distribution locations.
Late-night, vehicular access into Lahaina is limited to West Maui residents, first responders, and West Maui employees from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Evening road blocks on Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Highway 30) are located at Ma‘alaea and Wahe‘e. All motorists may enter from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The Maui Police Department will cite and tow vehicles parked at the Lahaina Bypass, where there are no-parking signs.
A free Ka’anapali Circulator Shuttle is available for people who are staying at any of the American Red Cross hotel shelters in West Maui, including the Hyatt Regency Maui, Outrigger Ka’anapali Beach Resort, Royal Lahaina, Honua Kai and the Westin Maui in Ka’anapali. The circulator shuttle runs in a continuous loop and is available daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It connects the shelters to various services located at the different hotels, including the Family Assistance Center, located at the Hyatt Regency Maui. The shuttle is being operated by Roberts Hawai‘i.
Maui Economic Opportunity Human Services and Maui Bus ADA Paratransit buses resumed trips to, from, and within West Maui beginning 8/22. Buses will not be traveling to restricted areas. The Human Services system provides rides for low-income and rural residents, kupuna, youth, persons with disabilities and those living outside the paratransit service area without charge to doctor’s appointments, dialysis, youth centers after school, employment and other destinations. Human Services buses run 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday depending on destination and type of service. Paratransit buses run every day, including holidays, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., depending on the location, in conjunction with Maui Bus routes. Both services require riders to be registered and approved prior to making a reservation. Applications are found at https://www.meoinc.org; reservations can be made by calling (808) 877-7651.
Uber is now working with the American Red Cross to provide rides (up to $40) to people in hotel shelters on Maui who do not have transportation options. To redeem the discount, riders must apply the promo code “MAUI23” in the Wallet section of their Uber app prior to requesting the ride, which is valid for UberX or UberXL.
The ferry from Maui island to Lana‘i continues to offer service from Ma‘alaea Harbor to Mānele Bay three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday departing Ma‘alaea at 1 p.m., Mānele at 3 p.m.
King Kekaulike High School will reopen for freshman tomorrow, 8/23, with sophomores, juniors and seniors returning Thursday, 8/24. Four public schools in Lahaina were impacted by the wildfires and closed the morning of 8/8: King Kamehameha III Elementary, Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate, and Lahainaluna High. The Kamehameha III campus was damaged to the point of disrepair, while the other three sustained wind damage. For State Department of Education information and resources to assist those impacted by the wildfires, please visit: bit.ly/HIDOE-West-Maui-Resources.
RESOURCE HUB: Donation & Volunteer Information
An online, centralized hub to respond to the impacts of the Maui Wildfire Disaster is available at mauinuistrong.info . The County of Maui’s “Maui Nui Strong” site offers information on how to donate, volunteer, offer services, and locate support. It is administered through the County’s Office of Economic Development, and will be utilized to connect people to resources and services. For any additional questions, or to talk to a county representative regarding the Maui Wildfire Disaster, please call (808) 270-7285.