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This is Your CHORE if You Choose to Accept It

CHORE stands for the title of this new blog: 
 Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies.

Specifically, the focus is helping officials in Hawaii respond to emergencies such as the one we just had -- the two earthquakes (6.7 and 6.0 on the scale) that struck the islands on Sunday, October 15, 2006.

"Help" is the operable concept. I get the feeling -- based on news coverage of officialdom's emergency response -- that some good old-fashioned idea mongering and suggestions might help improve communications to our population during and after emergencies.

You be the judge after reading this report in The Honolulu Advertiser today, headlined: "Debate begins on delay of news"

My reaction to that story is that our Civil Defense officials, elected government leaders and broadcast media need to communicate more, not less. Comments by officials in this story suggest a mindset to
not tell the population too much for fear the messages might be misunderstood.

My thoughts about communications during the massive power outage that followed the quakes are contained in this commentary, also in today's Advertiser, which editorialized in favor of improved news flow over Hawaii's commercial radio stations. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin's editorial called for an independent panel to review the State's earthquake response. The paper's story on the public reaction to the prolonged power outage was headlined "Outage stirs anger"

This blog can be a collection point for citizens' comments and common sense ideas on how they can be served by our media and government officials after natural disasters. The need for such a forum seems real. Remember, this blog is all about helping improve the system, not laying blame. Your comments are invited.
More About CHORE
Our Motto: It's a CHORE, but somebody has to do it.Our Mission: To improve communications to the public during and after emergencies in Hawaii by organizing the views of average citizens and submitting their proposals to the appropriate government officials and broadcasters to enhance their performance.Our Objective: To ensure that Hawaii's emergency response officials and broadcasters are performing at peak capabilities and efficiency during and after community-wide emergencies.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thank you Mr. Carlson for some common sense comments on our state's disaster response to our past earthquake. What if this had been a terrorist attack, missile from Korea, meteorite or god know what? Do we sit in the dark and worry for 45 minutes until someone decides to tell us what is going on?
I want to know what is going on as soon as those in charge do.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for your CHORE blog. I first read about it on Ian Lind's blog. Am I the only one becoming confused by HECO's response to questions about the electrical outage on Sunday? Didn't they first say it was an automatic response of the equipment to the earthquake? And now they are saying their employees actually began the shut-down immediately after the earthquake? It was quite a shake here on Oahu, but it makes me shudder in a different way to think of an earthquake of that magnitude hitting right off our coast instead of 150 miles away. How long would it take to get the electricity back on then?
Doug Carlson said…
"anonymous" of 11:42 a.m. on 10/20 has a good point. If humans rather than computers were making these decisions, possible "human error" becomes a topic for future consideration. At least computer programs can be simulated and tested in a benign environment, and since computers operate at lightning speed, they presumably would have reacted faster and more predictably than any operator. Thanks for your contribution.
Keith said…
Aloha Doug. Great job on this. Let me know if you need help changing those links on the left sidebar, and adding a RSS feed link.
Doug Carlson said…
Keith, thanks for your note. I'm responding through the blog site because the system isn't allowing me to respond to an email that also came in. I can use all the technology help you can offer, including the items you mentioned. I'm reachable at doug@commaaina.com. Mahalo!
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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