As of August 11, 2023, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) urges caution for residents and business owners who are being allowed to return to their properties in the Lahaina area. DOH recommends the following tips for those returning to the area.
- Keep children away – children should not help with clean-up efforts and should not play in areas with ash or debris.
- Protect yourself – People should wear protective face masks, goggles, gloves, long sleeves, pants, socks and closed-toed shoes (to avoid skin contact with ash).
- Protect others – We recommend changing clothes and showering before being in contact with sensitive groups like children, pregnant people, people with asthma or COPD, and kūpuna.
- Avoid heat stress – Be careful of over-exhaustion. Stay hydrated, take breaks, and consider bringing shade.
- Masks – Cloth masks only partially protect you from ash. Instead, DOH recommends wearing a tight-fitting respirator mask – look for the words NIOSH or N95 printed on the mask. N95 masks are best but paint, dust, and surgical masks can also be used during clean-up.
- Ash – Ash may cause irritation of the skin, nose, and throat, and may cause coughing. Ash and dust (particularly from burned buildings) may contain toxic and cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos, arsenic, and lead.
- Ash pits – Ash pits are holes full of hot ashes, created by burned trees and stumps. Falling into ash pits or landing in them with your hands or feet can cause serious burns.
- Ash clean-up – Avoid washing ash into storm drains. Do not use vacuums or leaf blowers that will push more ash into the air.
- Debris – Broken glass, exposed electrical wires (whether or not they are “live”), nails, wood, metal, plastics, and other solid objects commonly found in areas of fire damage can cause puncture wounds, cuts, electrical injuries, and burns from smoldering materials. Please use caution.
- Propane tanks – Maintain a safe distance from any propane tank that may have been impacted by heat or fire.
- Remaining structures – Unstable buildings and structures may contain hazardous materials and could collapse and cause injury. Please check with authorities before entering any remaining structures.
- Stored materials – Containers could have moved into unstable positions and be at risk for falling and causing injuries. Please approach with caution.
- Salvaged items – Anything found that can be salvaged should be washed carefully with clean water and soap.
During these hard times, we can help you with any medical needs that you might have. Whether it’s help finding crisis mental health services, filling out school forms, getting the necessary documents needed to get your child’s social security card, filling lost prescriptions that may have been lost in the fire. Are you having a hard time finding supplies or resources such as baby formula? Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or questions.
In Lahaina, to help assist those individuals directly impacted by the crisis, there will be the main clinic that will be located at the Comprehensive Health Center on Akoakoa Place, located below the Lahaina Civic Center. Clinic services will include general wound care and first aid, pharmacy services, mental health services and other general health care and will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments necessary and insurances is not required.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved the State of Hawaiʻi’s request to activate the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP), which helps Maui residents impacted by the wildfires who do not have health insurance get the prescription drugs and medical equipment that they need to stay healthy.
Maui residents impacted by the wildfires who do not have any form of prescription insurance should call the EPAP toll-free hotline at 1 (855) 793-7470 to verify eligibility and register.
Following registration, individuals will need to obtain a valid prescription from a healthcare provider and fill their prescription at a pharmacy that is enrolled in EPAP. Prescriptions for medications and medical supplies may be renewed every 30 days for as long as EPAP is active.
Participating community partners include Malama I Ke Ola, Hui No Ke Ola Pono, Mauliola Pharmacy, American Medical Response (AMR) and Minit Medical, Hawaiʻi Independent Physicians Association, Maui Optix
For more information, call 808-984-8201 or 808-984-8260
Resources: https://health.hawaii.gov/news/newsroom/doh-advises-caution-for-residents-returning-to-west-maui-area/?fbclid=IwAR1XCutqGrOjeBKRPch7cJvk4PSAFk5Yvv7SJ14fEgusqv0q3OCNUyaKhqc; https://health.hawaii.gov/news/newsroom/department-of-health-local-community-agencies-open-coordinated-health-care-clinic-in-west-maui/; https://health.hawaii.gov/news/newsroom/doh-continues-to-provide-services-to-wildfire-impacted-maui-communities/