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2011 Hawaii Natural Hazard Community Preparedness Workshops

Natural Hazard Community Preparedness Workshops to be Held Statewide

Local emergency and response agencies partner with NOAA to host free community natural hazard planning workshops in June and July

June 1st marks the official start of the 2011 hurricane season. In anticipation of this and other natural hazards, County Civil Defense and Emergency Management agencies, the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant), and the NOAA Sea Grant Coastal Storms Program are teaming up to offer a statewide series of free public workshops to assist Hawai‘i’s communities plan and prepare for natural hazards. The half-day workshops will be held throughout June and July and cover a variety of topics including emergency guidelines, evacuation planning, tsunami and severe weather warnings, homeowner guidance and retrofit measures, and flood and coastal inundation mapping.

Experts from County Civil Defense/Emergency Management, UH Sea Grant, National Weather Service, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Hawai‘i Red Cross will be on hand to provide guidance and answer questions from the public. In addition, many other agencies will set up educational booths to offer additional information and services to homeowners for natural hazard mitigation and preparation.

“These workshops also cover the many reasonable options homeowners can take to retrofit their houses and provides material from the soon to be released 2nd edition of the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards. Even for the oldest of houses, many significant and reasonable measures to strengthen the structure are possible” noted the handbook co-author Dennis Hwang, UH Sea Grant Coastal Hazard Mitigation Specialist.

The Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards can be found at: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu.

The workshops are free and open to the public and designed to better inform and prepare coastal communities throughout Hawai‘i. The first workshop of the series is scheduled for Saturday, June 4 on Maui. The next workshop will be on Oahu (June 11) followed by Kauai (June 16), Hilo (June 25), West Oahu (July 9), Kona (July 16).  For more information see the attached schedule, visit: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu, or call (808) 956-9780.

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The University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program is part of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s prestigious School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. It supports an innovative program of research, education and extension services directed to the improved understanding and stewardship of coastal and marine resources of the state, region, and nation. Science serving Hawai’i and the Pacific for over 40 years.