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FEMA Deputy Administrator Highlights Hawaii’s Recovery Progress and Previews President Biden’s Visit to Maui

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell praised the progress made in Hawaii’s recovery efforts ahead of President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s trip to Maui.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Ms. Criswell stated that when President Biden arrives in Maui, he will witness firsthand the devastation caused by the wildfires, including the destruction of the town of Lahaina and the tragic loss of nearly 100 lives.

She also mentioned that the President will be able to observe the ongoing recovery efforts carried out by FEMA and other agencies, which were initiated after he signed a federal disaster declaration.

“He’s going to be able to personally stand with the community, along with the First Lady, and reassure them that the entire federal government will support them every step of the way,” Ms. Criswell expressed.

President Biden’s visit to Maui on Monday will be his first following weeks of criticism regarding what some have deemed a lackluster response. However, Ms. Criswell commended the President’s actions and stated that disaster recovery efforts are moving in the right direction.

Since the federal disaster declaration for Hawaii was signed, the Biden administration has deployed 1,000 federal workers and 450 search and rescue team members to Maui County. Ms. Criswell highlighted that the search and rescue teams have already covered approximately 60% of the fire-ravaged area.

Additionally, FEMA and the Red Cross have been working to find hotel rooms for displaced individuals, resulting in a nearly 50% reduction in the number of people staying in shelters, according to Ms. Criswell.

The Biden administration has allocated over $7 million in assistance for those affected by the fires. Moreover, the President has increased the federal cost share for Hawaii’s disaster funding from 75% to 100%.

Ms. Criswell mentioned that FEMA and other agencies on the ground are preparing for debris removal, which will mark the next phase in the disaster recovery process.

“We are making progress,” Ms. Criswell affirmed. “And we will continue to support the people of Hawaii every step of the way.”

Perspective: Hawaii’s recovery efforts following the devastating wildfires have garnered attention as President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden prepare to visit Maui. FEMA Deputy Administrator Deanne Criswell emphasized the progress made in the recovery process and highlighted the actions taken by the Biden administration to support the affected communities. The visit will provide an opportunity for the President to witness the devastation firsthand and reassure the residents of Hawaii that the federal government stands with them throughout the recovery journey. As efforts continue, FEMA and other agencies are focusing on debris removal, a crucial step towards restoring normalcy in the affected areas.

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