(ABOVE) Video taken at the Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center (DARC) in Pahoa
Video by Dvid Corrigan (FEMA shots courtesy Rep. Tulsi Gabbard)
PAHOA, Hawaii – The Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center, or DARC, moved to the Mountain View Gym on Saturday. The DARC provides information on disaster-related services and allows Iselle survivors to register their damage with the state.
The DARC served large crowds in Pahoa on Thursday and Friday at the community center. Big Island Video News stopped by on Friday and interviewed Brian Miyamoto, a spokesperson for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
On Thursday August 14 Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a supplementary proclamation extending the state of emergency relating to Iselle, the powerful Tropical Storm that battered Puna one week ago. The supplement allows state agencies to continue the recovery process from the high winds, heavy rains, high surf, storm surge, and flooding.
On Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s assessment task force was in Puna touring damaged homes. The FEMA task force was accompanied on the ground by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “State and local agencies are working collaboratively toward mitigating the electrical outages, fresh water availability, access to roads and medical needs of our citizens. Hawai‘i County continues to extend its resources, but much more needs to be done,” Congresswoman Gabbard wrote in a recent letter to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate today. “I ask you to be rapid in your response to our natural disaster in Hawai‘i. We need your help to reduce suffering and restore basic necessities to citizens across this devastated area.”
The DARC at the Mountain View Gym will remain open until 8 p.m. Sunday.
Resources for Affected Individuals and Businesses for Dealing with Insurers
The State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division also outlined resources and advice for affected families and businesses dealing with their insurance companies. These include steps to help ensure that their claims are processed promptly, as well as information on how to file a complaint if they cannot resolve a dispute with their insurer.
File Claims Promptly – Homeowners and renters who experienced property losses are urged to file insurance claims with their insurers as soon as possible after losses occur. Provide policy numbers (if possible) and all information relevant to the loss. Households should take photos or
videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.
Make Only Necessary Repairs – Homeowners should protect their property from further damage after a loss, but should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses.
Keep Records of Dealings with Insurance Representatives – Homeowners should keep a diary of all conversations with insurance representatives, including the representatives’ names, and the times and dates of all calls or visits. They should also follow up in writing with the representatives to document their understanding of any conversations they’ve had.
Inventory Belongings – Provide your insurer with a detailed room-by-room inventory of damaged personal items and property. Include any receipts, credit card or other documents showing the items’ values.
Flood Damage – Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage to homes and structures is generally only covered by flood insurance, which is a Federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance. Homeowners should also read their policies carefully to make sure they understand what damage is covered and under what circumstances.
Keep Your Receipts If You Relocate During Repairs. If you need to temporarily relocate while your home is being repaired, make sure to keep receipts and other records of your expenses during that time.
Information on Homeowners Insurance: Additional information can be found on the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division website at
cca.hawaii.gov/ins/.Hawaii Emergency Management Agency