Free hurricane response tabletop exercise is Saturday
LIHUE — A hurricane will cause the most severe and extensive damage of all the natural disasters studied by the Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program.
The public is invited to a free hurricane response table top exercise for Hanapepe-Eleele from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Hanapepe National Guard Armory.
“Of all of the natural disasters we studied, a hurricane will cause the most severe and extensive damage — especially if it hits Oahu and Kauai,” said Jean Souza, a volunteer with the Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program. “For this reason, we chose to focus this table top exercise on a hurricane.”
Geared for Hanapepe-Eleele residents, landowners, business owners, government and non-government agencies, the exercise is open to the public and will focus on identifying what all community members can do before, during and following a hurricane.
“There will be new lessons learned from Hurricane Iniki, and the more recent hurricanes elsewhere,” Souza said. “We all need to be better prepared to take care of our families and to work together in an effective manner to help our community because government cannot do it all during a major disaster.”
Participants are encouraged to bring any hurricane plans, procedures or ideas they have to share with others in the group.
The Hanapepe-Eleele community has been working for the past 16 months on hazards awareness and formulating a community-based disaster response plan, and the information from the exercise will help strengthen the community’s disaster response plan.
“This ‘whole-community approach’ will help to enhance community preparedness and resilience, along with a cohesive team response when storms or other hazards threaten the island,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “This exercise is an excellent opportunity for the Hanapepe-Eleele community, area businesses, community-based organizations and government partners to meet, discuss and learn what each of us does, or can do during a disaster.”
Kevin Richards of the state of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, based on Oahu, will be facilitating the exercise.