EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - HŌʻULUʻULU MANAʻO HOʻOKŌ
Lāhainā, Maui – Na Hono A`o Pi`ilani, an area steeped in ancient cultural significance as a revered wahi pana, faced an unprecedented disaster. This disaster’s profound psychological and socio-economic effects necessitate urgent, targeted, and comprehensive intervention. Hurricane-fueled fires ravaged Lāhainā, leading to the Destruction of 2,207 structures.
Tragic loss of numerous lives. Displacement of roughly 7,514 individuals, including over 3,000 young people. FEMA’s preliminary evaluations indicate that the recovery cost is a staggering $6 billion, with an estimated 8-10-year timeline for a complete restoration and rebuilding of the affected areas.
Research on wildfire behavioral health emphasizes the profound psychological repercussions of such disasters. Key findings from these studies identify the following:
A marked increase in the risk of mental health disorders, especially PTSD and depression, after direct exposure to large-scale fires. Vulnerability and resilience factors are crucial in predicting mental health outcomes. Qualitative research indicates the therapeutic value of environmental recovery.
Restoring the natural environment can significantly boost personal recovery, underscoring the intertwined fates of individuals and their surroundings. Given the magnitude of the disaster, the subsequent psychological impact, and the evident challenges in procuring aid, the following is urgently required.
- Holistic Support: Targeted interventions that address infrastructural rebuilding and the psychological well-being of the affected populace.
- Streamlined Aid Distribution: Simplified, equitable processes to ensure that aid reaches those most in need promptly.
- Community Engagement: Opportunities for the affected community, especially the youth, to partake in environmental and personal recovery efforts.
NMII shall provide residents with services and programming to maintain hope in the face of uncertainty. NMII shall connect residents to providers to have their needs fulfilled. Where providers cannot provide, NMII shall advocate, take the provider’s role, and campaign on residents’ behalf. NMII shall conduct programming that connects residents and visitors to understanding and living in Aloha where, together, we can all reach resiliency and Kaʻikaʻi Lāhainā!