Natual disaster workshops start Tuesday

HANAPEPE — The Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program’s objective is to help communities prepare to be more self-reliant during and after natural hazard events, improve its ability to take care of their own needs, and reduce the negative impacts of disasters.

Jean Souza of the Hanapepe-Eleele Community Association said it will be the first on Kauai to undergo the HHARP process which starts Tuesday with a 6 p.m. workshop at the Hanapepe Armory of the Hawaii Army National Guard.

The public is invited to participate in the workshop, which is the first of more than a dozen monthly workshops to be held through 2016 and 2017.

This workshop will outline the process of developing a disaster and recovery plan, understand emergency management in Hawaii, and identifying what the community wants to address for future gatherings.

“We will all be working toward improved safety and preparation, and working with our neighbors to plan, prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters,” said Wayne Souza of the Hanapepe-Eleele Community Association. “It is not a question of ‘if’ a disaster will happen, but ‘when,’ so we community people really appreciate these emergency and disaster professionals who have offered to help us help ourselves.”

Kevin Richards, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency earthquake and tsunami planner, will be joined by the Hawaii State Department of Civil Defense community programs director Brigadier General (retired) Bruce Oliveira, and Elton Ushio, the Kauai Civil Defense Agency management administrator, in leading the discussions.

The second workshop is scheduled for June. Several other subsequent workshops will address understanding different disasters, how to prepare for disasters, and evacuation and sheltering options on Kauai. The public from all parts of Kauai is invited to participate in these workshops led by disaster experts.

Following these workshops, residents and businesses in Hanapepe and Eleele will address the communities’ specific needs and interests as well as develop pre- and post-disaster plans.


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