HAWAII EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
The Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is the emergency management agency for the State of Hawaiʻi. In its headquarters in Diamond Head Crater, HI-EMA serves as the coordinating agency between the four county emergency management agencies (Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, Maui County Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management, and Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency), as well as State Warning Point.
In accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), all disaster response starts at the county level. HI-EMA responds to county requests for state assistance and supplements county emergency management efforts. When a disaster response effort exceeds the capabilities of a county, HI-EMA may recommend a State Emergency Proclamation from the Governor.
This proclamation can activate the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), which is made up of state employees, and/or allow the State Department of Defense to place the Hawai’i Army and Air National Guard on State Active Duty. A Governor’s emergency proclamation may also suspend certain state laws, enabling a quick and effective emergency response.
Emergency response is only one of the functions of HI-EMA. The five core capabilities that guide HI-EMA are Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. The branches in the HI-EMA organization address these capabilities. These branches are Preparedness, Operations, Telecommunications, Logistics, and Finance/Administration.
State Warning Point uses the Hawai’i Warning System (HAWAS) to transmit and receive emergency messages to and from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and warning point for each county. State Warning Point is also part of the National Warning System (NAWAS), which connects over 22,000 emergency managers and the National Weather Service.