FEMA Director Says Biden Admin Wants ‘Culturally Responsive’ Outreach, Communication After Maui Fire


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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Deanne Criswell said Monday that the Biden administration wanted to be “culturally responsive” in outreach and communications following a deadly wildfire on Maui.

A wildfire on Maui destroyed thousands of buildings in the town of Lahaina, killing at least 96 people. Video posted on showed people fleeing into the ocean to escape the fire, which destroyed many cultural artifacts in the city that served as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. (RELATED: Beach-Lounging Biden Has ‘No Comment’ As Death Toll In Maui Nears 100)


“We also want to make sure that we are getting all of the appropriate information out to survivors, so we are working with our state and local partners to ensure that our outreach and our messaging is also culturally responsive, and that we can get messages out to people so they know what is available to them,” Criswell said during Monday’s White House press briefing.

“We have been on the ground since day one,” Criswell said. “We have an office here on Oahu, that is staffed with personnel and integration members that work side by side with the state of Hawaii each and every day, so we were able to quickly integrate in with the governor’s team, as these fires started to arise. Our regional administrator was also on the ground.”

President Joe Biden said Monday he had no comment on the blaze as the death toll rose.

A state government spokesman told NBC TODAY that National Guard and FEMA personnel had only completed 3% of the search for victims of the blaze, which was fueled by strong wings.

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