- How do residents find where their fire evacuation area is?
Wildfire evacuation areas should be outside the path of fire and smoke. Various factors such as weather conditions, wind direction, fuel sources, terrain, etc. affect the path of wildfires. Those factors need to be considered when identify wildfire evacuation areas.
- How many fires can we sustain at once with our current resources?
The HFD is prepared to respond to all emergencies and has mechanisms in place to recall personnel to increase staffing. The HFD also has memorandums of agreements with other City departments, State, and Federal Fire Departments to provide additional fire fighting forces and equipment.
- Who do residents contact to make state land next to their houses fireproof or less susceptible to wildfires?
Residents can contact the Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Lands Division Office at (808) 587-00419 or the HFD Fire Prevention Bureau to report a fire code violation at (808)723-7161 if they are concerned about State land.
Residents can visit the Hawaii Wildland Management Organization (HWMO) website: Home — Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization and review the HWMO Ready, Set, Go Wildland Fire Action Guide: Ready, Set, Go! Hawaii: Your Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide — Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization for Wildfire Home Hardening recommendations and tips.
Other information can be found in the HFD website: https://fire.honolulu.gov/
- How often are fire hydrants tested for water pressure?
The Board of Water Supply is the owner and custodian of the water supply system including fire hydrants. Please contact the Board of Water Supply for additional information.
- Are there going to be additional fire roads for egress?
The HFD has not initiated any discussion with City and/or State planners to create additional roads in to or out of the North Shore.
- Are there alternate routes (besides Kamehameha Hwy) to take in the event of an emergency?
The alternate routes always used by HPD / HFD for any fires / crashes, etc. if on Kam Hwy. are Weed Circle / Kaukonahua Rd. / Wilikina Dr. and so forth. The other alternate route often taken if traffic is really bad, is just going the other way around the island (Kahuku).
- Can we create a neighborhood disaster organization that has contact with HPD like a “neighborhood watch”?
The designated group of officers disseminating information, and coordinating with the community may have to be a designated unit, or fall under Major Events Division, etc. Something like this that has not been done before, would need to go through proper channels to get approved, so as to be properly tracked by the department.
- Can your department assist in pushing for more stream cleanup and management to aid in flood avoidment?
DEM will continue to advocate for flood mitigation and hazard mitigation more broadly island-wide. Stream cleanup as conducted by the City is primarily through the Department of Facilities Maintenance (DFM). They are doing the best they can within their authority and resources. DFM is subject to state and federal environmental regulations and there is a process including permitting that they must follow. This is described in their Standard Operating Procedures document found on their website: https://www.honolulu.gov/dfm/cleanstream.html. This SOP also shows the limited sets of areas in which DFM can operate. See Figure 7.8 for areas that include the North Shore. The State also has a role to play, but they’re also subject to similar environmental regulations and defined areas of responsibilities. Many streams segments are the responsibility of private landowners. Stream cleanup and management have multiple stakeholders and we will continue to advocate for whole-community solutions.
- Can sirens be turned on regionally (i.e. can sirens on the North Shore be turned on remotely or by someone on the North Shore)?
We are able to select specific sirens for activation. For example, if we needed to, we have the ability to activate just the Haleiwa Beach Park and Haleiwa town sirens. The siren control system is online, so we are able to activate remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. Sirens can only be activated by the county emergency management agencies, county police departments, and HI-EMA.
- Could we use sirens in certain patterns designated to a certain type of disaster?
The sirens can be programmed to have different tones, but that will have to be accompanied by a comprehensive and sustained public education effort to ensure the appropriate message is conveyed with each tone. We would also need to do this in a coordinated, statewide basis. Using different tones or patterns would also only make sense if there are specific actions associated with each tone that is different from our current message, which is to tune into the news or check your phone for emergency instructions. We have had preliminary discussions with the state and other counties and expect to have additional discussions in the coming months.
- What is our communications emergency plan? How can it be accessed by community members?
At the link is the Statewide Alert & Warning System (SAWS) Plan, which describes how the integrated public alert and warning system (IPAWS) works here in Hawaii. https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/files/2020/06/FCC-APPROVED-Hawaii-Statewide-Alert-Warning-System-SAWS-State-Plan-SIGNED.pdf
At the tactical level, first responders have redundant communication modes. Their radios can function with repeaters or, if need be, device to device in localized areas if the repeater system is not available. We do not make our tactical communications plans publicly available.
- Where do we go for emergency info/what are some resources that you can provide?
- Where should we look for information during an emergency?
- If phones and television are down, is there a specific radio station that is used for emergency information?
We always recommend having multiple modes to receive and access emergency information. Any single mode can fail, so it’s important to not put all of your eggs in one basket. Local television and radio stations work with emergency management to broadcast essential information during emergencies (see SAWS plan linked above). “Local Primary” sources as identified in the SAWS plan serve as the point of contact or a relay for other broadcasters in the dissemination of EAS messages and are required to broadcast all Emergency Alert System activation messages. The Local Primaries for Oahu are KSSK-590AM/92.3FM and KRTR 96.3FM (note that they volunteered themselves to be Local Primaries); additionally, KHKA 1500AM has recently upgraded by FEMA to be a “Primary Entry Point” with multiple redundancies, so while all other stations deliver alerts on a voluntary basis, the aforementioned stations will most reliably transmit EAS messages.
For additional information on staying informed during emergencies, please check out our page on this subject: https://cms.honolulu.gov/dem/preparedness/stay-informed.html