Press Releases

Graves, Larsen Seek Information from FEMA Related to Maui Wildfires Preparedness, Response & Recovery

Washington, D.C., September 7, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA) today sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell requesting information about how federal disaster assistance programs and resources have been deployed following the recent fire in Maui, Hawaii: one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history. As leaders of the committee of jurisdiction over emergency management, Graves and Larsen made clear that the T&I Committee would use its oversight authority to ensure that disaster relief resources are used appropriately and efficiently to aid survivors of the fires.

“More than one thousand Federal personnel deployed to assist in the response efforts to this devastating fire,” the Members wrote.  “Considering the large and extended Federal response effort, the Committee will continue to monitor the allocation and effectiveness of Federal resources. This includes investigating concerns that arise with the use of federal resources and assets during and after response and recovery efforts. For example, even as the fires in Maui were still burning, reports raised serious concerns related to alerting residents of the danger, evacuations from vulnerable areas, and access to resources, including water, to fight the fire. Additionally, questions were raised related to the housing of FEMA and other Federal personnel, including the location of housing and cost to the taxpayer.”

Graves and Larsen laid out a list of 15 questions and document requests for FEMA to respond to by September 21, 2023, including questions related to disaster housing and assistance, housing for FEMA personnel, alerts and warnings, support for preparedness and resiliency, and liability.

Read the full letter here.

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