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Forum: Storm Preparedness and Sustainabilty

November 8, 2017, 11:46 AM HST (Updated October 25, 2017, 11:47 AM)
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The West Hawaiʻi Community will host a public forum regarding community plans and options during emergencies and disasters on Thursday, Nov. 16, at the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

Experts will discuss plans and options for addressing the fragility of island living, its vulnerabilities to emergencies, disasters, and supply-chain disruptions.

Forum presenters will discuss current state-wide response plans for restoring daily island life norms for Hawaiʻi residents and its economy after a major life-disrupting event.

Officials say it is estimated that there is only five to seven days of food supply in the state. A disruption to Hawaiʻi’s vital supply chain would have an almost immediate impact on the state’s population.

The public forum will also explore the possibilities for local island agricultural, the current progress and challenges of Hawaiʻi island’s farming practices and environment, and the potential for a complete transition to self-sufficiency and sustainability.

It’s been over a month since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and more than 75% of its island residents and businesses are still without electricity.

Meeting officials say that like Puerto Rico, most of Hawaiʻi Island is dependent on a centralized power grid based on 20th century operating assumptions.

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As super storm events become the new norm, critical infrastructure services, as with Puerto Rico’s power and water services, must adapt and prepare for extreme hurricane winds and rain, flooding, and rising sea levels.

Even less extreme events can create major service disruptions as witnessed in Maui’s recent near island-wide power outage, the consequences of a rain storm, not a hurricane.

The forum will also explore real world applications, opportunities, and solutions that serve as building blocks to a secure and self-sustaining lifestyle and economy for Hawaiʻi island.

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