Manoa Recognized as Disaster Ready Community

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

MAJOR GENERAL ARTHUR J. LOGAN
DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

VERN T. MIYAGI
ADMINISTRATOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

NEWS RELEASE
August 24, 2017

BE READY MANOA RECEIVED DISASTER RESILIENT
RECOGNITION AT 9th ANNUAL MANOA VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD SECURITY WATCH MEETING

HONOLULU — The community group Be Ready Manoa was honored as a disaster resilient community yesterday by local, state, and federal officials during the 9th Annual Manoa Valley Neighborhood Security Watch Meeting. Be Ready Manoa received recognition as a disaster resilient community through the Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program (HHARP).

Distinguished guests that joined in honoring Be Ready Manoa’s designation as a disaster resilient community included:
• Representative Isaac Choy
• Vern Miyagi, Administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency
• Bruce E. Oliveira, Community Programs Director, State of Hawaii Department of Defense
• Kevin Richards, Natural Hazards Planner, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency
• Ann Kobayashi, Honolulu City Councilmember
• Crystal van Beelen, Disaster Preparedness Officer, Department of Emergency Management
• John Bravender, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Be Ready Manoa is the fifth community to achieve this recognition. Waimanalo, Kailua, Aina Haina and Joint Base Pearl Harbor are the other communities.

HHARP is a statewide program designed to guide communities through a disaster preparedness process that will empower them before, during, and after natural disasters such as hurricane, flash flood, and tsunami. Completion of HHARP includes presentations on local hazards and guidance in creating a community emergency plan.
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Media Contact:
Arlina Agbayani
Public Relations Officer
808-620-5423

Mahalo,
Arlina Agbayani
Public Relations Officer
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA)
3949 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
Cellular: 808-620-5423




Active hurricane season likely in store for isles

With a tropical storm forming Tuesday in the eastern Pacific earlier than ever recorded, can the first hurricane threat of the season be far behind? As a matter of fact, forecasters say Hawaii is likely to see an active hurricane season if signs of a developing El Nino continue to hold true.

“There’s an increasing chance of El Nino developing in the late summer or fall,” Hawaii state climatologist Pao-Shin Chu said Tuesday. “If that’s the case, it’s not good for us.” National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Foster said that while the Central Pacific Hurricane Center has yet to make its official forecast for the season, climate forecasters so far indicate that the trend is toward El Nino conditions. If that’s true, there is likely to be a greater number of tropical storms in our future.

The El Nino weather phenomenon occurs every two to seven years when warm Pacific Ocean water pools at the equator and ends up changing weather patterns around the world. In Hawaii, El Nino translates into summer heat, warmer ocean water, summer rainfall and a greater threat of tropical cyclones, followed by winter drought and large ocean swells.

Two years ago Hawaii endured one of the strongest El Nino episodes on record, and the islands saw weather anomalies in the extreme, including the wettest summer in 30 years, winter waves large enough to run the Eddie Aikau big-wave surfing contest and a record number of hurricanes plying the Central Pacific.

The Central Pacific hosts four to five named tropical storms in a typical year. But 2015 witnessed 14 named storms, including eight hurricanes, Five of which became major hurricanes. It was the most active season since reliable record keeping began in 1971.

Last year brought a weak La Nina episode — El Nino’s polar opposite. But the Central Pacific still saw an above-average hurricane season with six tropical cyclones, probably due to a phenomenon involving residual warm water left over from the El Nino season.

Conditions are now considered neutral, and most experts weren’t expecting such a quick turnaround for another El Nino year. In fact, the El Nino-La Nina-El Nino sequence in three successive years has occurred only once since 1950 — in the mid-1960s, according to the National Weather Service.

Chu, a meteorology professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said among the indicators pointing to El Nino is the fact that current sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are a half-degree warmer on average than usual. It looks like there is a good chance it will develop into El Nino,” he said.

Chu said the upcoming El Nino episode is highly unlikely to be as strong as the one in 2015, but it appears likely to arrive just in time to give Hawaii’s peak hurricane season month of August an extra boost. “June and July will be crucial months to see how this El Nino develops,” he said. “We will have to keep watch.”

As for Tropical Storm Adrian, the storm that formed off the Central American coast Tuesday — a record six days before the start of the eastern Pacific hurricane season — experts say there is little, if any, relation to the Central Pacific hurricane season, which officially starts June 1.

National Weather Service officials said that during the last two months, strong warming occurred in the eastern Paci􀃒c Ocean near the west coast of Central and South America. That makes ideal conditions for tropical storm formation, they said.

Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher with Colorado State University, said there have been eight seasons since 1980 with named storms forming prior to May 20 in the northeast Pacific. Of those eight seasons, only three ended up well above average, he said, while the other five saw near- to below-average storms in the Central Pacific.

As of Tuesday night the National Weather Service predicted Adrian would move up the coast of Central America, growing into a hurricane by Friday and threatening Mexico by Sunday night.




November CERT Training

There is a special Manoa Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training scheduled for November 6, 13 and 20 beginning at 7:45 am. The first two classes will be held in the Manoa Innovation Center presentation room. The final session will be a field exercise at Battery Harlow on Diamond Head. More information on CERT can be found here and here.




November HHARP

The next Hawaii Hazard Awareness Resilience Program (HHARP) is scheduled for November 16 at 6:00 pm in the Japanese Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2655 Manoa Rd. The date has been changed from the normal fourth Wednesday to the third Wednesday due to the proximity of Thanksgiving. There will not be a HHARP session in December.

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September HHARP

The next Hawaii Hazard Awareness Resilience Program (HHARP) is scheduled for September 28 at 6:00 pm in the Japanese Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2655 Manoa Rd.

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Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program (HHARP)

During 2016 Be Ready Manoa will sponsoring a series of seminars to help Manoa prepare for natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis. The official purpose of HHARP is as follows:

The aim of the Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program (HHARP) is to help communities prepare to be self-reliant during and after natural hazard events, improve their ability to take care of their own needs, and reduce the negative impacts of disasters.

HHARP can enhance community resilience through education and outreach sessions that build awareness and understanding of hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. State and county emergency management agencies have partnered to administer HHARP in support of community leaders willing to implement the program.

These seminars will be held on the fourth Wednesday of every month beginning on March 23 at the Manoa Library from 6:00 PM TO 7:30 pm. There will be featured speakers from the National Weather Service, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the Department of Emergency Management (City) and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (State).

A tentative schedule (as of 8/26/2016) for HHARP sessions in the remainder of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 is shown below. At the conclusion of these sessions we expect that the State will certify Manoa as an all hazards resilient community.

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Hurricane Iselle Aftermath

Many on Oahu think that hurricane Iselle was just another false alarm and that there was really nothing to worry about.  Tell that to the folks in Puna, many of whom are still without food, water and electricity.  As the following video shows, there are hundreds if not thousands of trees down, blocking roads and damaging houses.  And this was only a category 1 storm.  The trees down are mostly Albezia trees of which Manoa has more than its fair share.

Are you ready?

Operation Puna video




Beware The Northeast Quadrant

As of now it looks like Iselle, after hitting the Big Island, will pass south of the other islands.  If it does, Oahu may get brushed by the north side of the hurricane. As discussed below, the northeast quadrant of the hurricane has the strongest winds, the most wind shear and the highest storm surge.  So, the fact that the center passes to the south does not mean that we are out of the woods.  We still need to be concerned.

 

WHY ARE CERTAIN REGIONS
OF A HURRICANE STRONGER?



The hurricane is a spinning mass of thunderstorms. These storms form in bands that spin around the center of circulation. The winds are strongest near the center of circulation. This region is called the eye wall. The closer a place is to the eye wall the stronger the winds can be expected to be.

The onshore region of a hurricane tends to be stronger. When a hurricane makes landfall the wind will be coming from the ocean toward the land (onshore) on one side of the hurricane and the wind will be coming from the land toward the ocean (offshore) on the other side of the hurricane. The onshore winds are stronger because there is less friction over the ocean surface. The storm surge is the strongest in this region also since the winds are piling ocean water toward the land.

On the onshore side of a hurricane the hurricane’s forward motion combines with the storm relative wind velocity. Thus, this also contributes to winds being stronger on the onshore side especially for faster moving hurricanes. As air moves from the water onto land it is sheared. The land slows the wind down somewhat while the wind speeds aloft remain at a stronger intensity. This produces vertical speed shear. Friction also turns the wind more toward lower pressure over the land. This produces vertical directional shear. This enhanced shear with the presence of thunderstorms increases the likelihood of tornadoes. Thus, it is common for a tornado watch to be issued for the Northeast quadrant of a hurricane. This quadrant is the region that often experiences onshore flow.




Get ready for Iselle and Julio, state officials warn

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 06:09 p.m. HST, Aug 04, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 07:12 p.m. HST, Aug 04, 2014

The state Department of Emergency Management advises residents to prepare a seven-day disaster supply kit as Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio approach the Central Pacific and threaten Hawaii.  Officials say the disaster kit should include enough of the following items to last for seven days:

» Water: One gallon of water per person per day for seven days for drinking and sanitation;

» Food: Non-perishable food that does not require cooking. Popular local foods such as Spam, corned beef and Vienna sausage;

» Eating Utensils: Plates, mess kits, forks and chop sticks. Don’t forget a non-electric can opener for canned foods.

» Radio: Battery-powered or hand crank radio with NOAA Weather alert;

» Light: Flashlight and/or a portable fluorescent or LED light;

» Spare batteries;

» First Aid: Get a first-aid kit and consider enrolling in a certified first aid, CPR and AED course;

» Whistle: Important for signaling for help. A whistle carries much farther than the human voice and uses less energy than yelling;

» Dust Mask: Helps to filter contaminated air;

» Sanitation: Moist towelettes, toilet paper, 5-gallon bucket, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;

» Tools: Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, duct tape;

» Maps: Local area maps.

» Prescription: Special medications and glasses.

» Infant formula and diapers;

» Pet food and extra water for your pet.

In addition, state emergency management officials advise residents to monitor local media reports. Emergency public information will be broadcast over TV and radio, and additional emergency information is available on NOAA weather radios which are available from many Oahu electronics and department stores.

Residents can also sign up to receive emergency email and text messages sent directly to your cell phone from Nixle. Go to www.nixle.com/dem to set up an account.

DEM will also issue information updates via Twitter and Facebook. But DEM’s Twitter and Facbook pages should not be used to request emergency assistance.

 




Get Ready Honolulu

We here at Be Ready Manoa are not the only ones thinking about how to prepare for a man-made or natural disaster.  Other neighborhoods such as Ewa Beach, Kailua, Hauula, and Waimanalo to name a few also have major preparedness efforts well underway.  However, those named are coastal communities with the unique challenges of those living near the ocean.  As far as we know, Manoa is the only urban community to develop a disaster preparedness plan and to begin community outreach to educate residents about how  to prepare.

However, there are others who are thinking about the various disasters which could strike Honolulu.  In October 2013, Honolulu Magazine ran a series of articles on what could happen in Honolulu and how to prepare.  One statement in the introduction to that series sums up why all Honolulu residents should be concerned:

….Honolulu is literally the most isolated city in the world. When the Big One comes, there will be nowhere to run. And help may be a long time coming.

Honolulu Magazine, October 2013

The series goes on to discuss some worst case scenarios for Honolulu as  well as some tips on how to prepare and what an emergency seven day  food supply for two people might look like.

For those interested, there is an enormous amount of preparedness information available on the web from FEMA, The State Department of Emergency Management, The City & County Department of Emergency Management and our own bereadymanoa.org web site.




Hurricane Awareness

As noted in the post below, hurricane season in Hawaii starts June 1.  The following is some excellent information on hurricanes from The National Preparedness Community:

What is a Hurricane?

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. Gaining a better understanding of tropical cyclones and hurricane hazards will help to make a more informed decision on your risk and what actions to take.

Today we’re talking about high wind and inland flooding two incredibly deadly and destructive elements of hurricanes. Read, watch and share!

Inland Flooding: The Deadliest Element

When these powerful storms move over land, they lose wind strength but continue to dump massive amounts of rain into streams, rivers and lakes, posing a serious threat of inland flooding. These floods account for more than 50 percent of hurricane-related deaths each year.

Watch this short and shareable video of National Hurricane Center (NHC) Hurricane Specialist John Cangialosi discussing the deadly danger of inland flooding caused by tropical cyclones and hurricanes.

HurricaneFlooding

 

Wind Scales: Judging Hurricane Intensity

HurricaneWindScaleThe Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term “super typhoon” is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.

 

The Makings of A Hurricane: Storm Surges & Storm Tides

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases.

StormSurge

Click on picture for more information on storm surge

Click on picture for more information on storm surge

 




2014 Hurricane Preparedness Workshops

The official hurricane season in Hawaii is from June 1 thru November 31.  This year is projected to be a heavy El Niño year with the possibility of as many as seven tropical cyclones/hurricanes in the eastern Pacific.  May 25 thru May 31 is Hurricane Preparedness Week and May 31 is the beginning of the Makani Pahili Statewide Hurricane Exercise.  Given all of that, now is a good time to think about our personal and family preparations for a possible hurricane.   The following graphic shows a number of events around the state where you can get more information on hurricane preparedness.  Click on the following link to see the full flyer: hazard_workshops_flyer_2014




The Mānoa Disaster Preparedness Team is No More

Wait. What happened?  Not to worry.  The Mānoa Disaster Preparedness Team has changed its name to Be Ready Mānoa.  Same people, same mission.  We are now officially a corporation (unfortunately NOT tax exempt) of community volunteers.  The official information is:

Be Ready Mānoa
P.O. Box 61623
Honolulu, HI  96822
email – info@bereadymanoa.org
Website – bereadymanoa.org

Lots of things are happening.  You may notice  our new logo above thanks to Courtney Hara a UH senior in graphic design.  Also, plans for the Be Ready Mānoa community fair in September are going full speed ahead.  Sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, entertainment and much more are lined up.  Plans are to stimulate interest by involving local schools and school kids in disaster preparedness and education.

Stay tuned for future developments including the unveiling of our super hero mascot “Disaster Blaster”.

 




Are You Prepared for No Water?

WaterBarrel1In the event of a destructive hurricane or tsunami it is possible that water pumping facilities could be damaged or that electrical power necessary to run the pumps would be unavailable.  If that happened, water reservoirs would run dry in 2 or 3 days.  After hurricane Iniki hit Kauai, some homes were without water for a month.  In such an emergency, how would you get water for drinking, cooking, flushing toilets, bathing, doing laundry? Mānoa residents are perhaps more fortunate than those in other areas of the island because we have ample rainfall.  Thus it is possible to set up a water catchment system for emergency water needs.  How do you do that?  Every quarter, the Halawa Xeriscape Garden run by the Board of Water Supply gives a Rain Barrel Catchment class.  Recently several members of the WWAP NSW attended the class and came home with a 55 gallon water barrel and the knowledge of how to set up a catchment system.  Here is George working on his new water barrel. If you are interested in learning more, call 748-5363 or send an email to workshops@hbws.org to sign up for their next Rain Barrel Catchment class.  The cost of the class is $35.