Hawaii Hurricane-Prepared Homeowners to Get Grant

September 20, 2006

Hawaii homeowners who have taken steps to strengthen their homes against hurricanes and windstorms could be reimbursed up to $2,100 under a new state program.

Qualified homeowners will be eligible to get about a third of their costs covered by the state’s Loss Mitigation Grant Program, which is set to start next month. Individuals would have to apply for the program rather than filing for deductions from state income taxes.

State Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt said about $4 million is available under the program this year and another $2 million next year.

Some of the funding for the program comes from interest earned off the Hawaii Hurricane Reserve Trust Fund.

The program is part of an effort to bulk up the state’s emergency preparedness and lessen the impacts of disasters.

“We always encourage homeowners to consider wind-resistant devices to improve their structures,” Schmidt said.

Among the retrofit projects eligible for reimbursements are roof-to-wall restraint ties, roof wood sheathing fastening, and foundation strengthening.

The state said it expects to have standards, applications and a Web site detailing the program available in early October.

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