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Maui Fires: FEMA Clarifies Fact From Fiction

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Rumors and myths can harm disaster survivors by causing confusion and may even prevent people from seeking assistance.

To address this problem, FEMA recently launched a rumor control and frequently asked questions web page to keep survivors of the Hawaii wildfires aware of rumors and scams, and to help them better understand the federal disaster assistance programs and processes.

FEMA’s rumor page and Hawaii Wildfire web page are designed to help survivors, their families and communities access official information from trusted sources. We are encouraging all people to help stop the spread of rumors by doing three easy things: 

1.            Find trusted sources of information.

2.            Share information from trusted sources.

3.            Discourage others from sharing information from unverified sources.

FEMA’s rumor page addresses common myths specific to the federal response to the Hawaii wildfires, including:

One rumor claims that if survivors apply for disaster assistance, FEMA may confiscate their property or land. This is completely false. The truth is that applying for disaster assistance does not grant FEMA or the federal government authority or ownership of your property or land.

Another rumor alleges that FEMA and the Red Cross are confiscating donations for Hawaii wildfire aid. The truth is that FEMA is coordinating donations with numerous nonprofit and voluntary organizations, including the Red Cross. After disasters, large quantities of donated items can actually hinder disaster response efforts because it takes time and effort to sort donations. By coordinating efforts with nonprofits, FEMA and its partners can determine how to distribute these items effectively and efficiently. Learn more about volunteering and donations.

The page will be updated as we identify rumors or frequent questions that need to be addressed to help survivors get the information and assistance they need.  

For more information on the Hawaii wildfires, visit FEMA.gov.

About the author


Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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