Maui News

Full Scale Maui Exercise to Simulate Disaster Scenario

June 16, 2011, 2:55 PM HST
* Updated June 20, 10:28 AM
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By Wendy Osher

As part of the drill, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters will practice a food drop by taking food (donated by the Maui Food Bank) from one location on the Maui High School campus to another location across campus. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Volunteers and first responders on Maui will test their emergency response skills in a full-scale exercise simulating a major disaster event on the Valley Isle.

The exercise begins on Thursday, June 23, 2011 with a scenario involving the approach of a fictitious hurricane.

The time-phased simulation will progress to a full scale operations-based exercise on Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Kahului.  The scenario involves a shoreline community devastated by the impacts of the mock hurricane event,  with scenario impacts to include flooding, building damage and mass casualties.

The exercise will utilize the entire Maui High School campus in Kahului.  Activities include simulated triage operations with personnel from the Maui Job Corps among the 50 people acting as “victims” in the exercise.  There will also be a practice helicopter food drop done in coordination with the Maui Food Bank and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.  The Salvation Army will then take the food and prepare lunch for participants in their portable kitchen as part of the practice event.

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The exercise will include participation from 55 volunteers responders with Maui’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program offered free of charge to the residents of Maui via a Homeland Security Grant.  Participants complete 30 hours of training, receive personal protective equipment upon graduation, and are placed on a team in the community where they live to assist in large scale disasters.  As of March, 265 people had graduated from the program.

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The CERT team will be joined by professional responders from the Maui Police and Fire Departments, ARC, Salvation Army, Maui Food Bank, American Medical Response, Blue Hawaiian Helicopter, the Pacific Disaster Center, Maui County Health Office, and Civil Defense agency.  The interaction with local government agencies will serve to provide a comprehensive orientation of the CERT program capabilities and validate community volunteer merit.

The event will focus primarily on evaluating the abilities of the CERT volunteers. Civil Defense authorities who provide fiscal and administrative oversight for the program say the exercise will help to increase community awareness of the program and highlight the role the community can play in disaster response.

There is still an opportunity to register for upcoming CERT classes on Maui.  The schedule includes the following dates and locations:

  • July 26 – August 6 in Kihei at the Lokelani Intermediate School on Tues. 7/26, Thurs. 7/28, Sat. 7/30, Tues. 8/2, Thurs. 8/4, and Sat. 8/6.
  • September 6-17 in Lahaina at the Lahaina Civic Center on Tues. 9/6, Thurs. 9/8, Sat. 9/10, Tues. 9/13, Thurs. 9/15, and Sat. 9/17.
  • October 11-22 in Kahului at the Kings Cathedral on Tues. 10/11, Thurs. 10/13, Sat. 10/15, Tues. 10/18, Thurs. 10/20, and Sat. 10/22.
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All weekday classes run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday classes run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location of the final class for each session is TBD.  Class size is limited to 25 people and is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. To register, call the Maui County Civil Defense Agency at 270-7285.

The Maui Makani Uluulu event is being held in coordination with the annual statewide Makani Pahili hurricane exercise administered by State Civil Defense.

 

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