WAILUKU - The Maui County Emergency Management Agency (formerly Civil Defense) announced that it will host a series of free community meetings in partnership with West Maui Taxpayers Association to develop a disaster plan to meet specific needs of West Maui communities.
A series of monthly workshops presented by subject-matter experts through the Hawaiian Hazards and Resilience Program (HHARP) will provide education and outreach.
The sessions, which are free and open to the public, will help participants better understand hazards and offer tools and information 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.
The first session will be held in the Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16. Next, meetings will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Lahaina Civic Center Amphitheater on Thursday, March 16; Thursday, April 20; and Thursday, May 18.
"Our community is diverse, and we need everyone's participation to develop community plans," said Emergency Management Officer Anna Foust.
"Communities that are capable of caring for themselves during and after natural hazard events are better equipped to recover from the negative health, environmental and economic impacts so common after a disaster."
This program is supported by the Maui County Emergency Management Agency, Pacific Disaster Center and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
Doug Bausch and Andrea Chatman of the Pacific Disaster Center are expected to participate in the first meeting this week. Bausch, the center's science advisor, is an expert in impact assessment and loss modeling for natural hazards. While working at the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 2001-15, he provided impact analytics for all Level 1 U.S. disasters.
Chatman is a disaster management applications analyst for the Pacific Disaster Center. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of disaster support and a Master's Degree in Disaster Science. She is also a member of the South Maui Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
For more information on the West Maui Taxpayers Association and disaster preparedness, visit www.westmaui.org.