***IMPORTANT UPDATE 9/12/2019***
"The Importance of After-Action Reports in Emergency Planning" Presentation at Rotary Meeting has been moved to the Lanai Ballroom, which is across the Front Desk (still at the Royal Lahaina Resort). Same Date and Time - September 19, 2019 at 12 noon.
Lunch can be purchased AFTER the meeting at the
Rotary Discount in the Ocean Terrace Restaurant.
President, West Maui Taxpayers Association
Member, Rotary Club of Lahaina
PRESS RELEASE-- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **REVISED 9/12**
September 2, 2019
Lahaina, HI - “The Importance of After-Action Reports in Emergency Planning”
Come join The Rotary Club of Lahaina at noon on September 19, 2019 at the Royal Lahaina Lanai Ballroom (new room within hotel) as we proudly present Dennis A. Terpin, Ph.D. as our guest speaker. Dr. Terpin, just retired from The University of Illinois at Chicago as its Emergency Manager. The presentation will discuss the importance of After-Action Reports.
Dennis, a master level instructor for FEMA/DHS, was quoted as saying “All planning processes should take an “All Hazards” Approach and the purpose of After-Action Reports allows all stakeholders to identify strengths and areas for improvement through a review of the effectiveness of preparedness and planning efforts for such an incident or an event. Corrective actions and lessons learned will be identified to create opportunities for improvement.
Public is invited and encouraged to attend. No cost to attend. You may purchase lunch off of Ocean Terrace menu at Rotary discount after the meeting & presentation ."
Contact WMTA President and Rotary Club of Lahaina Member Joseph Pluta for more information 808-661-7990 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(scroll down below article image, to view full text)
Joseph D. Pluta
The West Maui Taxpayers Association planning team met with the mayor and asked him to be sure to let us work together with the Maui Emergency Management Agency and to use the WMTA and our plan as a resource as we examine an "After Action Report" on the recent fires and flooding issues.
We lobbied the County Council to add two persons to the MEMA staff. Hurricane season is just around the corner. We do not believe that both of these positions were funded in the new budget and are very disappointed. The brush has grown back where the fires were and become another fire hazard waiting to happen. We need to find out what went right and what went wrong during these last fires and floods. Preparing in advance and placing importance on that now can literally save lives!
We all know that hurricanes are on the way and more expected than ever before. The WMTA website at www.westmaui.org has great information on how to prepare and we urge you to get involved.
The WMTA has saved West Maui property owners millions of dollars in reduced fire insurance premiums when we and the West Maui Improvement Foundation Inc. built our own Napili Fire and Ambulance Station. Lives have been saved. Please consider how much money we saved you already. We know people who say that the ambulance from Napili literally saved their lives. How much support from you is that worth? Through all the legwork, testifying, community rallies we have done we have made small improvements, but with an ever-growing population and visitors in the islands, we need more.
The West Maui Community Plan (planning for the next 20 years), is in the works. A Community Plan Advisory Committee has been formed to be a voice on this plan that will become law. I have been chosen to be on the committee which brings hope, because all that we have fought for now is closer to reality as the committee meets and discusses what will go in the plan. The West Maui Community Plan will become law.
Together, we can make a difference! You can be a part of the solution or part of the problem. The choice is up to you.
Please choose wisely and support the community efforts of the WMTA.
* Joseph D. Pluta is president of the West Maui Taxpayers Association.
"Not planning for hurricane season is planning to fail" The Maui News 09 Jul 2019: A9
From: Dennison, Dan W <email@example.com>
Sent: July 1, 2019 10:52 AM
Subject: Wildfire & Drought Lookout! News Release-2019 Awareness and Preparedness Campaign Kick-Off, July 1, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2019
ANNUAL MULTI-AGENCY WILDFIRE & DROUGHT LOOK OUT! CAMPAIGN BEGINS
Busy Summer-Fall Fire Season & Spreading Drought Conditions Predicted
(Honolulu) – Don’t let last week’s heavy rains fool you and create a sense of complacency.
All signs point to a busy time for wildland firefighters across the state, fueled by higher than normal temperatures, drought conditions, and abundant vegetation created by two successive rainy winter seasons.
Michael Walker, State Fire Forester for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), repeated a common refrain, “Like everywhere else in the west, Hawai‘i does not have a specific fire season. It used to be we geared up for battling wildland fires in late summer and early fall, as those times historically were the most common times for big fires. Driven by our changing, warming climate, fire season here in the islands, like in all western states on the mainland, is now year around.”
The retired chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) confirmed this during a presentation in Honolulu last week. Ken Pimlott recounted the 2018 fire season as the most destructive and deadly in California history, with more than 1.8 million acres burned, 22,000 structures destroyed, and 100 lives lost. While Hawai‘i‘s wildland fire statistics are unlikely to ever reach California’s levels, as a percentage of land mass impacted by wildfire annually, Hawai‘i is no different than much larger states.
More evidence of a year-around fire season was provided by a 2,150 acre fire that burned on Agribusiness Development Corporation land on west Kaua‘i in mid-June between the two highways leading to Waimea Canyon and Koke‘e State Parks. Sheri S. Mann, DOFAW Kaua‘i Branch Chief said, “This fire burned in the exact same area as a wildland fire in May this year and May of 2017; it basically burns there almost every year. It suggests that as land and fire managers we need to consider shifting our thinking towards changing forest and grassland management regimes.” Mann suggests that rather than putting out fires in the same places year after year, management needs to transition into identifying areas that burn repeatedly and then take steps to reduce the fuel types, loads and human activities to mitigate fire potential in advance.
Clay Trauernicht, a Wildland Fire Specialist with the University of Hawai‘i’s Cooperative Extension Service traces how the potential for wildland fire has steadily grown over the years. He explained, “"Agriculture and ranching declines have left us with about one million acres of non-native grasses and shrubs statewide. This vegetation is incredibly prone to burning during drought. Clearing and cleaning up the brush on your property is critical for the safety of your family, home, and our firefighters. On top of this, we have some of the highest frequencies of fire starts in the US. About 75% of those ignitions are accidental, which means they can be prevented. So take care with campfires, BBQs, using machinery and running cars over and around dry grass. We also see big spikes in wildfires around the holidays so please follow the laws and be especially safe around fireworks this upcoming Independence Day."
While last week’s rains may have provided some temporary relief from drought conditions in certain areas across the state, meteorologists predict a possible steady worsening of extraordinarily dry weather caused by moderate El Niño weather patterns. The United States Drought Monitor (June 27, 2019) shows extreme drought already impacting the southernmost part of Hawai‘i Island with moderate to severe drought conditions evident in certain areas on all of the main Hawaiian Islands. The Drought Monitor reports, “On June 25, an unusual low pressure system for this time of year brought heavy rainfall to the western Hawaiian Islands, including a daily record of 4.20 inches at Honolulu. The effects of this heavy rainfall on the drought status in Hawaii will be reassessed later this week.”
Derek Wroe, a meteorologist at NOAA's National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast Office explained, "People should not be lulled into thinking that recent rainfall over some islands will eliminate drought conditions over the entire state. With our hotter and drier months still ahead, current drought conditions have the potential to become more pronounced over portions of the state."
Elizabeth Pickett, the head of the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO) said what’s most important is what happens before a wildfire sparks. She explained, “Firefighting is the last line of defense when it comes to wildfire. It is up to everyone, residents and visitors alike, to prevent wildfire by eliminating any chance for heat or sparks to come in contact with dry vegetation. There is also a lot that can be done around your home and community to reduce wildfire’s ability to spread and cause widespread damage. It can be as simple as keeping your grass short, removing dead branches and leaves, and clearing your rain gutters of debris. Finally, make and practice your emergency plan with your family, and with any neighbors who might need help preparing for or evacuating from a wildfire.”
HWMO hosts a website with information on what home and property owners can do to “harden” their properties against the threat of wildfire.
# # #
(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)
HD video – Waimea Heights Fire (5-16-17):
HD video – CalFire Chief Ken Pimlott Presentation (6-24-18):
Photographs – Waimea Heights Fire (5-16-17)
United States Drought Monitor (Hawai‘i Conditions)
Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization:
DLNR Senior Communications Manager
Save the Date
Sept 19 Presentation on "The Importance of After-Action Reports in Emergency Planning"
Click here for more info
WATCH THE 2019 ANNUAL MEETING
WATCH THE LATEST HOT TOPICS MEETING - Click Here
Disaster Preparedness Expo 2016 was a success!
Click here to view all the presentations
Click here for Posts regarding Expo.