HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new Hazard Mitigation Plan has been adopted by the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA).
The new 2023 plan is an update that provides a framework for all future efforts to reduce the risk of hazards across Hawaiʻi.
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“This plan is a cornerstone of the work that emergency managers do to reduce the risk and harm from known hazards,” said James Barros, HI-EMA administrator.
Used as a guide, the plan will be used for the next several years and seeks to reduce or eliminate the harm done to Hawaiʻi’s communities by wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, and other hazards.
“The state works with the counties and the counties work with their communities to turn this plan into projects that protect life and property,” added Barros.
As it stands, the State acts to update its hazard mitigation plans every five years. The plan must be approved by the acting governor along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This plan was formally adopted by Governor Josh Green, M.D. on Sept. 27.
Amendments to the plan can be made annually that will reflect plan changes by HI-EMA, the counties and other partners.
In December 2022, HI-EMA began collecting comments from the public in order to determine the best course for their mitigation plans.
This included a series of public meetings that took place across the state along with virtual meetings that occurred via teleconference.
FEMA has a requirement in place in which states must have an approved hazard mitigation plan to qualify for numerous federal assistance and mitigation grants.
You can click here for digital access to the approved Hazard Mitigation Plan.
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“The 2023 State Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies the major natural hazards that affect our state, assesses the risk that each hazard poses, analyzes the vulnerability of our people, property and infrastructure to the specific hazard, and recommends actions that can be taken to reduce the risk and vulnerability to the hazard,” said a spokesperson for HI-EMA.