Ewa Beach community certified as tsunami and storm ready

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Apr 27 2013 06:04:00 PM HST

Tsunami and hurricanes are always potential threats in the islands. One community is taking extra steps to make sure it is ready for any natural disaster.

EWA BEACH, Hawaii -

They are scares that we are always aware of here in Hawaii. Tsunamis and hurricanes are big hazards we face each year. One community is taking extra steps to make sure it is ready for such a scares.

Ewa Beach residents are now officially ready for a natural disaster, said the National Weather Service. After the 2011 tsunami those living in the town felt that they were not fully prepared, so they took things into their own hands.

"Where's the parks that you go to so that you can park and have access to a restroom? That is a pretty key issue if you are going to wait out a five to eight-hour tsunami warning," said Rodney Boucher, a volunteer with the Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Volunteers in the community organized a disaster plan. They also will continue to hold fairs to show the importance of having an emergency kit and a water supply. The National Weather Service said the preparedness program is essential for communities, but crucial for those in Ewa Beach with only three main exists out of the area.
 
"There's more than 80,000 people living on the peninsula here on the Ewa plane area and you have the ocean right there with a strong tsunami presence. Especially as you go to Iroquois point area that's prone to tsunamis," said Michael Cantin, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service.  

"The more local communities prepare, the faster they can recover and the less we have to do for the prepared communities. So we can focus our efforts on the communities that are hardest hit," said Doug Mayne, Vice Director of State Civil Defense.

The National Weather Service said it's trying to get more communities on the neighbor islands to join the program. Right now, Nanakuli and Kaneohe are communities that are in the process of being storm and tsunami threat ready.

The community must hold a disaster exercise each year to keep its certification. It also has to maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.

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