Resources for Residents and Businesses Impacted by March Floods

This page was last updated on March 19, 2021

In an effort to assist residents and businesses impacted by the March 2021 floods, this “one-stop” web page has been created to assemble valuable information and resources from various sources in one location. Bookmark this page and check back for updated information that will be added as it becomes available.

Emergency Declarations and Related News Releases

On March 9th, 2020, Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation declaring that Hawaii has suffered a disaster caused by heavy rains and flooding beginning March 8, 2021 and which are forecast to continue through March 12, 2021. This proclamation allows the Governor and Legislature to provide financial relief and invoke certain emergency provisions.

Governor Ige Proclamation Related to Heavy Rains and Flooding, March 9, 2021

Additionally Mayors of City and County of Honolulu, County of Maui and Kauai have also issued emergency proclamations for their respective jurisdictions:

City and County of Honolulu – Mayor Blangiardi Declaration of Emergency, March 10, 2021

Kauai County – Mayor Kawakami Emergency Proclamation, March 10, 2021

Maui County – Mayor Victorino Emergency Proclamation, March 8, 20201

The State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Insurance Division has issued the following News Releases related to the March Flooding:

Insurance Division Available to Answer Flood Damage and Coverage Questions, March 12, 2021

After the Floods

After a flood disaster, expect multiple visitors who will want to help you recover. It’s common for multiple visitors to perform damage assessments on your home. No matter who’s knocking, always ask for identification and the purpose of the visit. Never give out personal information such as your Social Security or bank account number. Government
officials will never ask for money and you should never pay for their service.

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Report Damage(s) from March 2021 Floods to your County Emergency Management Agency

Note: Reporting damage(s) is a voluntary activity and does not constitute an application for assistance nor does it substitute reporting damage(s) to your insurance agent.

County Damage Assessment Reporting DescriptionClick to Open Form
The City and County of Honolulu (CCHON), Department of Emergency Management has posted an online form that allows Oahu residents to self-report home and/or business damages as a result of the March 2021 floods. The purpose of the form is only to collect information that will help CCHON officials understand the damage that occurred and impacts on the community. The CCHON will use this information to determine whether the City is eligible to request for federal assistance.OPEN
County of Maui (COM) Emergency Management Agency has posted an online form for individuals and businesses to report damages. This information will ensure that COM has a complete picture of the scope of damage caused by March 8th flood event. The data collected will allow County officials to determine if COM qualifies for any state or federal assistance, as well as to assist with flood plain mapping. For more information, contact the Maui Emergency Management Agency at (808) 270-7285.OPEN
Kauai Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) ask that if your home was damaged as a result of the March Flooding (March 2021), please complete the online reporting form. The information you provide will help to gather necessary data which may be used to determine whether or not certain federal aid is made available to residents of Kauai and/or the State of Hawaii. Please contact KEMA at (808) 241-1800 if you require assistance with the form.OPEN

Links to County Hosted web pages related to March 2021 Flooding

The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management has a web page that provides the following flood recovery information relating to the March 2021 floods: 

  • Self-Reporting of Damages
  • Building permit information for repairing damaged structures
  • What do I do with debris?
  • Where can I go for help recovering from the flood?
  • How do I clean up safely?

The County of Kauai has a web page that offers the following information and updates relating to the March 2021 Flooding:

  • Press Releases
  • North Shore Kuhio Highway Updates
  • Damage Assessment
  • Refuse Services
  • Postal Services
  • Additional Resources on power outages and water services
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information
  • FREE Mental Health Counseling
  • Health Recommendations

What should I do now?

Although you may not have had flood insurance prior to this event , its still a good idea to contact your insurance agent to discuss what type of insurance coverage you do have that may help in the recovery effort. One of the most common misconception is that a homeowners policy will cover flood damage. Typically, a separate flood insurance policy is needed to cover flood damage to a structure and its contents.  Hurricane season is right around the corner, so it’s important that property owners and renters prepare and protect their property from the next flood. It is important to note that there is typically a 30 day wait period before a flood policy becomes effective.


The following explains the claims process and steps to follow as you start your National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claim and work with your adjuster and agent. The more you know, the smoother the process will go.


1Start your ClaimContact your insurance agent or company to report your flood loss. Your flood insurance policy requires you to give prompt written notice of your loss. Generally, your adjuster will contact you within 24-48 hours after you report your claim. However, depending on local conditions, severity of flooding, and COVID travel requirements, it may take more time. When reporting the claim, ask about getting an Advance Payment to help you start recovering. Advance payments are deducted from the final claim payment.

How Do I Contact My Insurance Company? Find the toll-free phone number for your insurance company. If you need help finding your insurance carrier, please call the NFIP Call Center, at 1-800-427-4661. Representatives at the Call Center can tell you who your insurance provider is and how to contact them, if you’re not sure, as well as answer other questions you may have.

Be ready to provide the following information when reporting your claim:

  • The name of your insurance company;
  • Your policy number; and
  • A phone number and/or e-mail address where you can be reached.
  • The name of any mortgage company(s) (applicable if the insureed property is mortgaged)


2Prepare for Your Inspection by Documenting your Loss – Before entering, make sure it’s safe to re-enter the building. Take photographs and videos of the damaged property, including items you plan to discard. As much as possible, your photos and videos should document the structural damage; standing floodwater levels (both inside and outside); and damage to appliances, furniture and other items before moving, removing or discarding anything. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.

  • For items like washers and dryers, hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, televisions, and computers, make sure you take a photograph of the make, model, and serial number.
  • For your building items, keep some samples (swatches) and also photograph items like water-damaged carpet (and or other flooring), wallpaper, and drapes before disposing of them so you can show them to your adjuster during the inspection.
  • Immediately throw away flooded content items that pose a health risk, such as perishable food items, clothing, cushions, pillows, etc. after photographing them.
  • Contact repair services if the building’s electrical, water, or HVAC systems are damaged. It’s important to consult your adjuster or insurance company before you sign any agreement/contract with a cleaning, remediation, or maintenance contractor.
  • Contact your county’s building department and floodplain manager to get information about repairing your structure and obtaining the necessary permits.
County Floodplain
Manager
Phone NumberCounty Floodplain
Development
Regulations
County
Website
Hawaii County
Bryce Harada, PE CFM
(808) 961-8327 HCC Chapter 27OPEN
City/County Honolulu
Mario Siu-Li, CFM
(808) 768-8098 ROH Chapter 21A OPEN
Kauai County
Douglas Haigh, PE
(808) 241-4849 Revised on 2/10/21
KCC Chapter 15
OPEN
Maui County
Diego Sanchez-Gomez, CFM
(808) 270-7139 MCC Chapter 19.62 OPEN

It’s a good idea to back up the media files in some type of cloud storage (i.e. Google, Dropbox, Amazon, etc.) in the event that you cannot access the photos/videos from your device or you misplace it.

NOTE: Flood loss avoidance is a protective action you take to minimize flood damage and losses to your buildings and personal property before a flood occurs. Talk with your adjuster if you took loss-avoidance measures. NFIP policies cover up to $1,000 in reasonable expenses incurred to protect insured property, and up to $1,000 to move insured property away from a flood.


3Begin Cleanup – There are many different resources for cleaning up after a flood. The Environmental Protection Agency has a detailed list of do’s and don’t to recovering after a flood. Click, here to visit website.


4Work with Your Adjuster – When your claims adjuster arrives, they should show you official identification (Driver’s License and Company ID or Flood Control Number). They should also provide you with their contact information, such as their name, email, phone number, and the name of their adjusting firm.

When meeting with you, your adjuster should cover the following:

  • An explanation of the NFIP Flood Claims Process.
  • An inspection of your property—during which he/she will scope your loss by taking measurements and photos.
  • An explanation of what an advance payment is and how or if you can get one.
  • Information about how you should present your loss to your insurance company and a discussion about your policy coverage.

Other things to know, do and or discuss with your adjuster:

  • The insurance carrier, not the adjuster, has the authority to approve your claim.
  • If you haven’t already done so, ask the adjuster about getting an Advance Payment to help you start recovering.
  • Be sure to provide your current mailing address and phone number if you are displaced.
  • Ask your adjuster about Increased Cost of Compliance.
  • The adjuster should never ask you for money or collect your deductible amount.

At the end of your inspection, your adjuster should provide you with information about what you need to do and what will happen next.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFIP is advising insurance companies to conduct remote adjustments whenever possible. However, remote adjustments are optional. If you choose to have a remote adjustment, you can also request an on-site inspection at any time during the damage assessment. Discuss your options with your adjuster. For more information on remote adjusting, read WYO Bulletin W-20004 (April 2, 2020).

If you choose remote adjustment, your adjuster will guide you on how to collect the documentation required for a successful damage assessment. The adjuster will explain the technology and equipment you need (such as a digital camera or smartphone and measuring tools) and make sure you are comfortable using them. Be sure to take photos and videos of your flood-related damage before throwing out items or discarding the carpet, while also taking steps to prevent the spread of mold.


5Receive Payment – Your claim payment amount will be based on the supporting documentation you provide and what’s covered by your policy. It’s your responsibility to submit information that supports your claim and to meet required deadlines. If you still have questions or additional damage to report, contact the claims department at your flood insurance company to discuss any disputed amount or coverage issue with a claims examiner.

Resources

For more Flood Insurance Publications, Click HERE