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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.

Click image for larger version

Click image for larger version


Posted in Events, Meeting Notice.

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


Posted in Hurricane.

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.



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.


Posted in Uncategorized.

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 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.



Posted in Hurricane.

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 web site.


Posted in General.

First Manoa Ham Net Exercise Held July 8th

Manoa-based Amateur Radio Operators held their first exercise on July 8, 2014. Seven radio operators from Manoa in addition to operators checking in from Waikiki, Kapiolani Community College, Keeaumoku area, and St Francis Hospital (14 in all) participated in the exercise.Check-in was at 10:00 am on a popular repeater on Diamond Head owned by the Honolulu Emergency Amateur Radio Club. All stations then moved to the simplex frequency assigned to Manoa by the Honolulu County Department of Emergency Management to exchange signal reports. Simplex frequencies are those in which operators contact each other radio-to-radio without the advantage of a powerful repeater. It would be as if you were using one cell phone to call another without the use of the cellular repeater grid! In the event of a disaster where the electrical and communication grid collapses, these kinds of simplex communications capabilities may be what remains. Five members of ‘Be Ready Manoa’ participated in the exercise: Raleigh Ferdun, Betty Yee, Jack Tsujimura, Gordon Loui, and Fred Fortin.


Posted in Ham Radio.

Amateur Radio Field Day June 28th Kualoa Regional Park

The annual Amateur Radio Field Day will be held on June 28, 2014 Saturday starting at 8 am at the Kualoa Regional Park. This year’s field day is organized by the Emergency Amateur radio Club (EARCHI.ORG) and the Koolau Amateur Radio Club (KARC.NET).

What is an Amateur Radio Field Day?

This is a free, national event sponsored by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League, the National Organization of Radio Amateur in the U.S.). Several hundred clubs nationwide participate in this event, which serves as a practical application of emergency operations, a fun contest, and as a public service event for Amateur Radio. Sometimes served agencies, such as National Weather Service (SkyWarn), the American Red Cross,  and others  join in with displays, etc.  For Amateur Radio operators, it is a fun get-together as well as an opportunity to polish communications skills vital in the event of  an emergency.

So come out and join us, whether you’re an old-time ham or newly licensed or just want to know more about the Amateur Radio Service, it’s a great opportunity to see HAMS in action.

Fred Fortin


Posted in Events, Ham Radio.

May 31st Makani Pahili Hurricane Exercise

10325503_662055700542169_3316757237962452708_nOn May 3, 2014 the Honolulu county Department of Emergency Management, the State Civil Defense, The American Red Cross – plus a number of other federal, state and county and private agencies held the 2014 Makani Pahili Hurricane exercise. For Manoa, that included a major shelter exercise held at the Manoa Valley Church. Be Ready Manoa (BRM) members Jack Tsujimura, Gordon Loui, Betty Yee and Fred Fortin, all of whom are Amateur Radio operators or Hams, participated in the event acting as radio communicators at the shelter for the American Red Cross and the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management. Also assisting the Hams was Raleigh Ferdun another BRM member.


Posted in Ham Radio, Hurricane.

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.



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.


Click on picture for more information on storm surge

Click on picture for more information on storm surge



Posted in Hurricane.

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


Posted in Hurricane.