Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Law Authorizes Disaster Preparedness Plan

Flooding on Waianae Coast
(from Rep. Shimabukuro's blog)
Governor Lingle today signed House Bill 2692 into law as Act 119; the legislation authorizes the Director of Civil Defense to work with the City and County of Honolulu to develop a disaster preparedness plan for the Waianae Coast area, specifically House Districts 44 (Nanakuli) and 45 (Waianae).

The bill, introduced by Rep. Karen Awana (District 44 – Honokai Hale, Nanakuli, Lualualei) proposes a model disaster preparedness plan for the Leeward Coast which can be expanded for other areas of the state in the future. This area of Oahu has the potential to be severely impacted by natural and man-made disasters due to the following factors:

* There is one main highway into and out of the area, with no alternate routes. Closure of the roadway leaves residents stranded.
*There is a large homeless population in the area living on the beaches with limited resources.
*The elderly have limited access to disaster shelters and transportation services.
*The growing population in the area relies heavily on public transportation.

“A disaster preparedness plan for the Leeward Coast is long overdue,” said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (District 45 – Waianae, Makaha, Makua). “I hope this empowers Civil Defense to move forward with a plan that will protect the community. We are all deeply concerned for the safety of the residents in the event of a disaster.”

The law authorizes but does not require Civil Defense to prepare a plan. If the department goes forward with the plan, the Director of Civil Defense must submit a report to the legislature prior to the start of the 2011 legislative session.

“A disaster preparedness plan is so critical to our community,” said Rep. Awana. “If a major disaster closes the road, this places our people in serious jeopardy. We need to have a plan in place so that we are prepared to deal with the inevitable disaster that will strike. It’s a matter of health and safety.”

1 comment:

tonyb said...

When it comes to our property, what do we expect in case of loss (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.)? The disaster itself is news. What happens after the dust settles is the story: the aftermath shock. Here is something the public should know. With a little curiosity, you the insurance policyholder can mitigate that shock.

You can now have access to your basic rights and vital information--even footing, equality--walk softly, but carry a big stick! The internet reaches far more people than anyone would have ever imagined, though it takes a rare person to pause, to inspect...to grasp the unknown. And yet, much is available gratis! Have a look: www.disasterprepared.info