Community-Centered Preparedness & Response

Disaster and emergency preparedness & response, by default, falls on federal, state, and county government. They strategize on how various emergencies would be handled and often manage and oversee the plans, agencies and other resources related to this responsibility. However, when a disaster happens, it is the impacted communities that are the first responders and, in some cases, may be the only responders for days or even weeks. 

We must recognize the important role that community-centered response plays in every disaster and strive to better support it. That means that we invest more in how (1) the communities of Hawaii organize and share important information related to preparedness & response best practices and (2) how we better integrate the community into institutional plans and government agency process..

Having been involved with response to the Kauai Floods of 2018 and working at the community scale was an eye opening experience. It revealed there large gaps in response and coordination between these two important and ever present stakeholder groups; the general community and institutional responders. This gap not only represents a huge opportunity, but also a huge risk, one that we cannot remain complacent about.

We have identified a number of key solution areas and are moving to support the communities of Hawaii through direct engagement and network building.

At the same time we are working to grow our relationships with the traditional responders and understand the plans and processes by which they operate and function. Through growing trusted relationships we hope to bring more connection and efficiency to the overall landscape of preparedness and response throughout Hawaii.

If you are interested in connecting with this growing community centered network of response leaders or have more questions about this work, please contact us.

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