6 emergency preparedness leaders to discuss ‘Lessons Learned’ and ‘What’s Next?’ during Waimea Town Meeting

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Many in Waimea are concerned about and involved in stepping up their community’s emergency preparedness. Photo Courtesy: Waimea Community Association

“Lessons Learned” and “What’s Next?” are – or perhaps should be – on most everyone’s mind as the 2024 Hawai’i State Legislature drew to a close this past Friday, heavily focused on Lahaina’s wildfire.

In addition, May 4 is National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, and June is the start of hurricane season in Hawai’i. With this in mind, the Waimea Community Association’s May 2 Town Meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. will focus on emergency response communications and collaboration with a panel discussion led by six lead first responders.

Included in the panel will be Hawai’i County Fire Chief Kazuo Todd, Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno, Pōhakuloa Training Area Commander Tim Alvarado, President of the Hawai’i Island Safety and Security Professionals Association Kainoa Stafford and Waimea Resilience Hub Chair Max Davis.


All are welcome to Waimea Community Association Town Meetings either in person or may watch virtually via the Waimea Community Association’s Facebook page ( or YouTube channel ( The meeting also will be recorded and available on Facebook and YouTube for later viewing. 

Questions are welcome, preferably in advance by emailing Questions may also be typed into the Facebook chat and will be addressed as time permits. 

What is new is the meeting location: The Town Meeting will be held in the New Community Center in the former Mamane Bakery at 64-1056 Mamalahoa Highway, behind the former Kamuela Kitchen restaurant. There is paved parking and also a large adjacent grass area. Volunteers will help direct parking.


“Each of the Town Meeting presenters will share a brief overview of their agency’s or organization’s protocols and response to lessons learned … both what worked and what may need or is in the process of being improved upon,” said Waimea Community Association President Nancy Carr Smith. 

“Some of this may involve internal protocols, some may involve changes in the law, some may require additional workforce, training and/or funding supports, and some may involve new or expanded partnerships or collaborations,” she said. 

The meeting will begin with a pule – this month by Kahu “DJ” Keawekane with Ke Ola Mau Loa Church. Then, Hawai’i County Fire and Police Chaplain Renee Godoy will speak on behalf of the evening’s spotlighted not-for-profit, Friends of First Responders Hawai’i Island, which helps provide supports for the island’s boots-on-the-ground responders and their families. After this presentation, baskets will be passed urging community members to contribute to this not-for-profit’s programs. 


The meeting will also include a brief public safety update by South Kohala Community Policing Officers. 

As a reminder that community members are, themselves, their own best first responders, the Hawai’i Island Food Basket has donated several cases of Humanitarian Daily Rations so that Town Meeting attendees may take one home for each member of their household to have on hand as part of their personal emergency response supplies along with their “Go Kit” of important personal documents, medications, etc.

Also to help the community become better prepared, the Hawai’i Wildfire Management Organization is providing a copy of its research-based “Ready, Set, Go!” personal wildfire action guide for all attendees. This guide provides prioritized, step-by-step instructions on how to prepare families, homes and communities for wildfire prevention and response. 

“We thank all of our presenters and community partners for committing time and resources to this important ongoing conversation about preparedness,” said Carr Smith.   

For more info about the meeting or the Waimea Community Association, email Carr Smith at or go to

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