Video: Hawaii National Guard and State Civil Defense Practice Disaster Response.
Soundbites: Staff SGT. Cory Ito NCOIC Hawaii CERFP Search and Extraction Team Robert Jones, Honolulu Police Department Major Event Division Captain Walter Faulconer of the Honolulu Fire Department Information is a premium in this society and at no time is information more valuable than is the time of disaster. Hawaii practices it’s disaster response annually with an exercise called Makani Pahili. The exercise starts at the Joint Operation Center a National Guard facility that is continuously manned even in normal circumstances. The JOC receives notification from State Civil Defense that a hurricane is going to make a swipe of the islands. CERFP Teams are put on notice, equipment is gathered and in some instances forward deployed to locations to establish command centers. In Hawaii this task often means loading all of that gear and its team on a C-17 and flying them out to the remote locations. It is a tight fit that requires careful maneuvering of equipment. Air-lift is not limited to military personnel, teams from FEMA and The Red Cross are often included. Once the teams are on location they waste no time in setting up and establishing communications with the local Emergency Management teams and the Joint Operation Center. Once the storm has passed information is collected from the state and county resources, and relief and recovery efforts began. Medical supplies are delivered to shelters in need of assistance, and search and rescue teams are airlifted in to remote locations where needed. The search and rescue teams work with local police and fire departments to orchestrate their efforts. Swooping in on damaged and collapsed structures, searching for survivors, and treating the injured. Information about all relief and recovery efforts is all passed back to the local command center who then passes this information the joint operation center. Swift and efficient recovery is contingent on swift and efficient communication of information up and down the chain. Makani Pahili, is structured to give the communicators and first responders real world like training. This year’s event included over 150 Hawaii National Guardsmen, and Guardsmen from Nevada and California, teams from FEMA, Hawaii State Civil Defense, The Red Cross, Department of Health, and Honolulu’s Police and Fire departments, as well as various community based teams. The Goal of Makani Pahili is to always be improving plans in execution and effectiveness. Soundbites from Staff Sgt. Cory Ito, Robert Jones, Capt. Walter Faulconer. Produced by Tech Sgt. Andrew Jackson. Also available in high definition.