PRiMO meeting exemplifies collaboration and partnership on disaster resilience

April 3, 2013

The Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) focuses on promoting disaster resilience by preparing communities throughout the region for future disasters.

After a week packed full of conference sessions and hui (working group) breakouts, the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) completed its 11th year of successfully bringing together disaster managers and decision makers to help strengthen the Pacific region against disaster.

Attendees included local, state, and federal agencies as well as NGOs and private sector companies — each bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Speakers, panelists and attendees shared “best practices” for empowering communities to reduce disaster risk, integrating social and cultural systems, using social media, monitoring health, practicing conservation, educating and training community members, assessing risk and vulnerability, preparing for sea-level rise, and anticipating and responding to marine debris from natural disasters.

PDC plays a significant leadership role in PRiMO with Deputy Executive Director, Chris Chiesa, serving as the Chair of the Navigators Council, or board of directors. Chiesa organized an interagency roundtable for local, state, and federal agency leaders to facilitate dialogue about disaster risk reduction in the Pacific. The roundtable provided the opportunity to share successes and challenges as well as seek common solutions, forge new partnerships, and explore ways to leverage resources. The roundtable dialog provided important guidance to our hui, or work groups, as they plan their 2013 activities, connecting PRiMO to those we serve.

Additionally, PDC staff members Sharon Mielbrecht and Todd Bosse serve as steerspersons (leads) for “Risk Assessment and Planning” and “Information and Geospatial Technologies” hui. In addition to facilitating day-long meetings for their respective hui, Mielbrecht led a concurrent session entitled Building Community Readiness and Resilience for Tsunami and Other Hazards, while Bosse led a session on The Application of Risk and Vulnerability Assessments featuring PDC’s Global RVA.  PDC BioSurveillance Specialist Dr. Kyle Hathaway organized and participated in a panel on Monitoring Health and Disasters, introducing PDC’s BioServ program to attendees.

PDC also provided a pre-meeting training workshop on DisasterAWARE, the Center’s flagship disaster monitoring and decision support product, at the University of Hawai‘i’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Sixteen participants from federal, state, and county agencies attended, including from US Army Pacific Engineering Division, US Pacific Command, Hawaii State Civil Defense, University of Hawai‘i, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University, and the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting. DisasterAWARE provides advance warning, decision support, and information sharing capabilities and can be customized to meet the needs of the Pacific communities.

When completed, the 2013 PRiMO Meeting Report will be available on the PRiMO website.

Additional information about the 2013 PRiMO meeting:
• Visit the PRiMO website, and
• View the Facebook wall.

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