WAIMANALO RECOGNIZED AS HHARP DISASTER RESILIENT COMMUNITY

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 in FY2015, Pupukahi

Waimanalo was honored as a Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program (HHARP) disaster resilient community by local, state, and federal officials during the Waimanalo Emergency Preparedness Fair. This fair was held at the Hawaii National Guard Regional Training Institute on June 20, 2015. Fair organizers are members of a community group named Hoomakaukau O Waimanalo, which translates to Get Ready Waimanalo.

Hoomakaukau O Waimanalo worked with Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management (DEM), and the Hawaii National Guard (HING) over an 18-month period to complete HHARP and is the first community to do so.

“This is a prime example of disaster preparedness at a grass roots level,” said Kevin Richards, Earthquake and Tsunami Planner for the State of Hawaii and the creator of HHARP. “We recognize that communitites will have significant needs after a major disaster and HHARP enables them to respond and recover effectively as a community.”

HHARP was developed by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) in 2013. The goal of the program is to enhance community resilience to hazards. The HHARP method for achieving this goal is taking the communities through a facilitated education and outreach program to promote hazard understanding and awareness and by offering tools and information resources in mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Through the HHARP process Hoomakaukau O Waimanalo also earned their StormReady and TsunamiReady designations. StormReady and TsunamiReady requirements include demonstration that the community has: a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center (at the City and County and State); multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and multiple methods for alerting the public; a system to monitor local weather conditions; held community seminars to promote readiness; and, developed a formal hazardous weather plan.

HI-EMA, DEM, and HING continue to introduce and administer HHARP in island communities. Actively engaged communities include Aina Haina, Ewa Beach, Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Kaneohe, and Waianae. If you are interested in learning more about HHARP, please contact Kevin Richards at (808) 733-4300 or krichards@scd.hawaii.gov.