Statewide Hurricane Preparedness

January 10, 2015

Makani Pahili Statewide Hurricane Preparedness Exercise

Massive storm systems result in some of the most devastating, wide-spread, and costly disasters. The high winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge associated with tropical cyclones can result in wide-spread devastation. Warning systems, advance planning, and exercises can help reduce impacts and help authorities better respond to challenges posed by damaged infrastructure and displaced populations. Although hurricanes are relatively rare events in Hawaii, five storms have caused significant damage in the islands since 1950. Hurricane Iniki, for instance, devastated the island of Kauai in 1992, causing $2.3 billion in property damage.

Each year, we participate in Hawaii’s statewide hurricane preparedness exercise, Makani Pahili (Hawaiian for “strong winds”). This high-profile exercise focuses on improving Hawaii’s overall preparedness for the Central Pacific hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, and includes simulating a major hurricane that causes significant damage and loss of life.

DisasterAWARE®, our decision support system is used through all phases of the exercise, providing government agencies and military organizations with access to simulated damage assessment maps, detailed weather graphics, and hurricane scenario model outputs. The annual Makani Pahili exercise provides an opportunity to evaluate warning, evacuation, and sheltering capabilities; validate response and recovery plans; and raise public awareness of hurricane-related risks.

Cover photo: U.S. Air Force by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson

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