Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2008

Millions Are Spent on Servicing CD Insiders, but True Need Is a Better Public Information System

The Honolulu Advertiser editorializes today on the need to upgrade the state and county Civil Defense centers, but we’re struck once again by what those upgrades would and wouldn't do.

Have you noticed in earlier media coverage that recent Civil Defense expenditures seem to be for tools and toys to keep officials themselves informed, coordinated and linked in? From the editorial:

The city’s center would coordinate the first responders – ambulances, firefighters and the like – and manage traffic on Oahu. The state’s center would monitor and respond to all the counties’ needs with its own resources, including the National Guard.

Just once we’d like to read about what’s being done to upgrade human software in the emergency communications chain. The big failure in October ’06 when two Big Island earthquakes resulted in a prolonged island-wide power outage on Oahu was CD officials’ inability to communicate efficiently with the public. (First-time visitors to CHORE are directed to our …

UH Schedules Another Emergency Alert by Text But Is Silent on Testing Other Crisis Channels

The University of Hawaii has a test planned of its Emergency Notification System that uses text messaging in a few days. We've become more accepting of TM as a way to communicate in a crisis since earlier posts here, now that we're doing quite a bit of texting. But as suggested here many times, a campus emergency notification can't end with text messaging, especially since there’s some evidence that students on other campuses haven't been all that enthused about signing up for emergency alerts.

The University of Hawaii “Guideline for Emergency Communication Policy and Procedure” alludes to “alternate methods of communications” that can be employed, but note how they’re mentioned:

“In the event of a power outage at the receiver end (when electronic methods are used), this system will be disabled and alternate methods of communication used.”

This suggests the alternate methods aren’t intended for use in the absence of a power outage. Try reading the procedure yourself a…