Community Resilience


Kanu Hawaii’s community resilience work was catalyzed by the natural disasters that impacted the state in 2018: extreme rainfall on Kauai, flooding on Oahu, Hurricane Lane, Tropical Storm Olivia, and the volcanic eruption on Hawaii Island. A key takeaway from all of these events was the importance of strong community relationships and cohesion in response and recovery. Since 2018, Kanu Hawaii has become part of several initiatives focused on growing the resilience of our communities. 

Waikiki Safe Ohana

The Waikiki Safe Ohana is a consortium of local organizations working toward increasing the resilience of Waikiki, with a particular focus on the senior population. Activities of the consortium include disaster preparedness trainings, policy development, awareness campaigns, and partnership with management companies to implement preparedness plans. 

Community Responders Network

In all of the natural disasters that impacted Hawaii in 2018, community members were on the frontlines in initial reponse and recovery. Depending upon the scope of the emergency, communities can be isolated for weeks post-disaster, if not longer. In order to build our collective capacity to respond and recover, we look to emergent communities leaders for knowledge, insights, and experiential wisdom.

Kanu Hawaii interviewed and documented these leaders’ stories and lessons learned with the intention of identifying innovative solutions implemented across the state in 2018. Moreover, we developed a better understanding of challenges and opportunities that must be addressed prior to the next natural disaster. A soon to be released report containing first-hand experiences and collective knowledge will provide a novel perspective on disaster response and recovery from this group of heroes.

Photo: KHON