WEST MAUI - The West Maui Taxpayers Association is working with the Maui Emergency Management Agency (formally called Maui Civil Defense), Pacific Disaster Center, and the state Department of Emergency Management on developing a customized disaster plan designed to meet West Maui's specific needs.
According to WMTA, the region's isolation from the island's major hospital and primary airport due to frequent road closures, fires and flooding highlight the need for special preparedness planning.
"We agree with our partners in this process that communities that are capable of caring for themselves during and after natural hazard events are better equipped to deal with the negative health, environmental and economic impacts so common after a disaster," the group noted.
"The West Maui Taxpayers Association invites you to join us and be a part of the solution to plans that may well be the reason why lives will be saved when disasters strike. Come and join us!"
Through a series of monthly workshops presented by subject-matter experts, the Hawaiian Hazards and Resilience Program (HHARP) will provide education and outreach that promotes hazard understanding and will offer tools and information resources to guide mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery planning for the community.
The first series of HHARP workshops will cover a Program Overview, Introduction to Emergency Management in Hawaii, and Hazard Awareness. Set for Feb. 16, March 16, April 20 and May 18, all meetings will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Lahaina Civic Center.
These meetings are free and open to the public.
"Our community is diverse, and we need everyone's participation to develop community plans," WMTA concluded.
More information on WMTA and disaster preparedness can be found at www.westmaui.org. n