Oahu DEM Wants To Be Quicker
John Cummings of Honolulu County’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) led off the panel by noting what worked well on October 15th after the two Big Island earthquakes. DEM’s Emergency Operations Center was activated in 17 minutes, and communications among first responders was established quickly.
What needs attention is faster communications to the public. DEM’s first broadcast over radio stations didn’t occur until 50 minutes after the quakes. The agency had anticipated using land lines to contact stations, and that was a major problem, as the stations’ phone lines were clogged with calls from the public. DEM’s personnel had not been trained in using the Emergency Alert System for two years, but State Civil Defense has conducted trainings since October.
Cummings said DEM is developing plans to use the County’s Traffic Informatio…