Preparedness drill reveals ease in escaping Oahu evacuation zones

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Apr 01 2014 08:54:31 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 01 2014 08:54:53 PM HST

The anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in Hawaii was remembered during a ceremony in downtown Hilo.

HONOLULU -

As downtown Hilo holds a remembrance ceremony Tuesday morning for the anniversary of one of Hawaii's deadliest tsunamis in Hawaii, here on Oahu a preparedness drill was held.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes' report.

The drill highlighted just how easy it can be to reach a safe location, even with a tsunami on the way.

Hawaii's geographical location makes us vulnerable to certain things like tsunami.

Military service personnel and family members walked along tree-lined streets with disaster personnel from the Red Cross and government agencies.

"Everyone should be prepared for a tsunami 365 days of the year. Just because it is tsunami awareness month doesn't mean it is tsunami season," said Peter Hirai of the Department of Emergency Management.

The walk by personnel let people know that it only takes about 30 minutes to walk one mile inland, which will provide a safe haven should a tsunami hit our shores here in Hawaii.

Unlike other natural disasters, with destructive tsunami there is usually time to prepare.

After the massive tsunami struck Japan, Hawaii had over eight hours to prepare before the much smaller tsunami waves arrived.

"Here we should be going out of the tsunami evacuation zones and not panic and just walk calmly out," said Col. David Kirkendall of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

It is a simple step to better prepare people for a tsunami and important knowledge in the event of a real disaster.

"We feel more aware. We know to listen for the sirens and then take out inland. We don't need our car. We can just walk inland. We feel much better after doing the walk," said Hickam resident Nicole Gilmore.

Knowing where to go during an emergency is important information and should be just one part of your preparation. You should also have a disaster kit ready in case a catastrophe hits.

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