Hawaii just updated their Emergency Management laws

Nice work to General Wong and Vice Director Mayne on the Governor’s signing of House Bill 849 for the Hawaii State Civil Defense….I mean the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

It’s always great to see solid progress to benefit residents of Hawaii in case of statewide disaster or local emergency.

@rusnivek

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Governor Signs Bill Updating Hawaii’s Emergency Management Laws

HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed House Bill 849 (Act 111), a measure that updates the state’s emergency management statues, including clarification of the relationship between state and county emergency management agencies and the emergency management functions and powers of the governor and mayors.

The bill was introduced in the 2013 legislative session and updates laws more than 60 years old that were primarily focused on nuclear attack and civil unrest.

“This measure will ensure that the state is better prepared for all catastrophic events, both natural and manmade, in safeguarding the people of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In addition, this act will better integrate state and county disaster response planning and reorganizes the authorities and responsibilities of government leaders, providing the public with increased clarity during difficult and uncertain circumstances.”

The signing of this bill also changes the name of State Civil Defense to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Hawaii was the last state to retain the use of civil defense in reference to its emergency management agency. This change brings Hawaii in line with modern best practices and updates the outdated language and references used in prior statutes.

Act 111 also establishes an Emergency Reserve Corps and authorizes the 24/7 State Warning Point, both critical increases in the state’s readiness to respond to hazards. It does not significantly change the governor’s emergency powers, but it does vest county mayors with emergency authorities independent of the state emergency management structure.

 

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Is this flooded roadway safe? You tell me…. #TADD #Prepared2014

This week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16 – 22, 2014).

To help clarify some misconceptions about water and flooding, let me make it very clear – NEVER drive through flooded roads. Here’s a great example. We were dispatched after a few reported calls of a flooded roadway. Looks innocent enough right?

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Just because it’s downhill does NOT mean it is any safer…in fact, it is more dangerous.

  1. Gravity will move/flow the water faster.
  2. More water will cause you to lose control of your vehicle or possibly sink your vehicle and/or drown you.
  3. More water will remain at the bottom of the hill will definitely cause damage to your vehicle.

So how can you share this safety message with others?

  • Continue to share the message of Turn Around, Don’t Drown = #TADD (National safety campaign phrase)
  • Flash flooding can occur anywhere – even within metropolitan and urban areas.
  • Avoid areas that are frequently flooded.
  • Always follow instructions from your local emergency service professionals.
  • Report any flooded roadways to the proper authorities.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roads.

It’s really bad news if we have to meet like this…

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If you were wondering, that’s me on the right

Do your part in #Prepared2014 by being safe this year.

@rusnivek

2014 National Flood Safety Awareness Week #TADD #Prepared2014

This week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16 – 22, 2014).

Did you know that floods are the #1 natural disaster in the US? Just within the past five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

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How can you help?

Share these easy safety tips with your constituents on flood safety:

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown = #TADD (National safety campaign phrase)
  • Flash flooding can occur anywhere. If there is a possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Always follow instructions from your local emergency service professionals.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roads.
  • Use local alerts and warning systems (like iPAWS and WEAs) which can send localized information about your immediate area.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organization.
  • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause thousands of dollars in damages.
  • Do you know if you live in a flood zone? Find out here for free.

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So check your emergency preparedness kits and make sure you are ready!

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@rusnivek