Honolulu nonprofit Lanakila Pacific, best known for its popular “Meals on Wheels” program, will receive a $1.5 million grant from FEMA to fortify its facility to protect critical reserve food supplies during severe storms.
“Lanakila Pacific is a critical part of our overall preparedness, especially for our seniors and others who will need special support with food and other essentials during a severe weather disaster,” said US Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), a member of the US House Committee on Appropriations and of its Subcommittee on Homeland Security with federal funding and oversight authority over FEMA.
“Super Typhoon Mawar and its devastating impact on our Guam and Northern Marianas ʻohana drive home yet again that we must assume and fully prepare for similar direct hurricane and other severe storm impacts on Hawaiʻi,” Case said.
Case said the funds will go to repair the roof, replace and install new impact resistant doors in place of exterior perimeter gates, and strengthen air conditioning systems, among other structural improvements.
The grant is the second round of funding to Lanakila Pacific by FEMA, which previously awarded $229,000 to Lanakila Pacific to harden its Liliha headquarters.
“Working with FEMA and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency to fortify the structural integrity of our roof and building entrances will safeguard Lanakila Pacific’s resources so we are ready to assist with feeding the community in the aftermath of a disaster, including the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on our Meals on Wheels program,” said Rona Yagi Fukumoto, president and chief executive officer of Lanakila Pacific.
The FEMA grant comes as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an “above normal” hurricane season outlook this year for Hawai‘i and the Central Pacific, with a forecast of 4 to 7 tropical cyclones. A normal season sees 4 to 5 cyclones, though not all make landfall.
The grant also comes as the President designates emergency assistance coordinated by FEMA for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to address Mawar, and Hawai‘i recognizes “Hurricane Preparedness Week” to highlight the importance of hurricane preparedness by residents throughout Hawai’i.