BARKING SANDS — Putting out the correct message at the right time with the correct information — that is the name of the game when it comes to emergency management.
Kelly Balmores, the emergency management manager for the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, has the duty to protect the many sailors and civilians who call the base home and workplace.
He does this by planning and managing all matters dealing with any extreme events that can cause extensive damage to properties, or injuries or disruption of community life, said MC1 (SW/AW) Erickson Magno, deputy public affairs officer at PMRF.
“During COVID-19, Balmores brings daily updates to PMRF,” Magno said. “He is the main source of information during the pandemic, as well as the primary liaison between county, state and federal agencies. For him, it’s being vigilant and aware of what is going on beyond the installation.”
Balmores, a Kaua‘i native who grew up in Koloa, understands the importance of getting out the right information.
“Currently, working with COVID is a juggling act with the state and county rules and proclamations in addition to following CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and naval installation orders and directives,” said Balmores.
“Itʻs important to put out the right guidance and how it aligns with the Navy, our installation, as well as the state and county.”
Balmores stresses the importance of having a good relationship with the community and the installation.
“It’s a constant state of awareness for what is going on within the community and on the installation,” said Balmores. “Building relationships with the community and building partnerships with the state, county and non-governmental agencies before an emergency helps the community’s survivability when a disaster strikes.”
Balmores holds Kaua‘i and the community close to him.
“Though he’s had to leave the island and travel to many places, he was always homesick and missed Kaua‘i —leading him back to PMRF, where he served as the installation training officer,” Magno said. “Four years later, he became the emergency manager.”
“Kelly is an absolute treasure here at PMRF,” said Capt. Tim Young, PMRF commanding officer. “As my emergency manager, he has a most crucial role in preparing us for the worst.”
“Needless to say, he has been well employed over the last few months,” Young said.
“He always goes above and beyond in ensuring the safety and protection of the many lives of those who work and live here at PMRF. Whether it’s preparing us for the next natural disaster or training our team on responding to a crisis, I can always rely on him to hit a home run. Kelly’s positive and humble attitude of service before self is contagious, and I am honored to call him a teammate and friend,” Young said.
Balmores, an Army veteran and former policeman, uses his skills to help folks by being a law enforcement firearms instructor in addition to being a member of the Practical Shooting Association and a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“I try to help in the community when I can and where I can,” Balmores said. “I helped coach the Hanapepe Cowboys 8-and-under flag football team for the past couple of years. But once that is all said and done, I unwind by going fishing on my boat when my wife gives me permission.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.