Hawaii County Civil Defense has an interim administrator, and he’s no stranger to the job.
Ed Teixeira assumed the position Monday and is responsible for directing emergency management operations at Hawaii County Civil Defense.
The combat veteran has a history in emergency management, having worked at Hawaii State Civil Defense from 1996-2011. He was named vice director in 1999.
After a few days on the job, Teixeira sat down with KHON2 to discuss what’s ahead.
“In the three days I’ve been there so far at the county civil defense agency, I’ve been so impressed with the changes I’ve seen, the improvements I’ve seen, the quality of the staff as well,” he said.
Teixeira says the agency has a lot on its plate, but his time at State Civil Defense prepared him for the role.
“My focus and priority is more of grabbing that baton from (former administrator) Darryl Oliveira, moving forward as quickly as I can, running as fast as I can, because we’re racing really against time and other hazards,” he said.
One of those hazards is lava.
“You’ve got to have that always on your mind, and not just Kilauea, which is the current vent and all that. We’ve got to keep remembering about Mauna Loa, and every time I fly into the Kona, Keahole airport, you fly near Hualalai,” he said.
“From an emergency manager’s point of view, civil defender’s point of view, I think the staff already knows I want to visit what we’ve done in the county so far for other routes,” Teixeira said. “I want to take a look at our plans, plans for evacuation, go through some what-if scenarios.”
Oliveira retired at the beginning of May, having led Hawaii County Civil Defense since 2013. His tenure included preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Iselle, the recent Puna lava flow, and an outbreak of dengue fever.
The county continues to search for a permanent replacement.
Teixeira says he hasn’t ruled out applying for the job himself, but “for the time being, my choice was to take it on as an interim program and we’ll take it from there.”
Though he was born and raised on Oahu, Teixeira bought a home in Waimea while stationed at Pohakuloa Training Area in 1986. His mother was raised in Honohina.
He most recently worked as an instructor at Chaminade University and as a disaster preparedness and planning consultant.
“Ed Teixeira has worked for many years to keep the people of Hawaii Island safe in his role at State Civil Defense. We welcome his expertise and leadership at the helm of Hawaii County Civil Defense,” said Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.