Backwards Was Testing Defense Civil Today’s – Statewide Failed Sirens 40 (Correction More Then That)

Today’s Civil Defense Testing Was Backwards!

Most folks should know by now that the Civil Defense Sirens here on the Big Island get tested on the first day of each month right around 11:45.  Today, those of us that have subscribed to the NIXLE Emergency Alert System got a warning a few minutes ahead of time that WE HAVE NEVER GOTTEN BEFORE:

Thursday November 1st, 2012 :: 05:55 a.m. HST
The Hawaiʻi Police Department reminds the public that the Civil Defense monthly test of the statewide outdoor siren warning system is scheduled for Thursday (November 1) at 11:45 a.m.

Although the siren system is managed by State Civil Defense, the counties provide assistance with maintenance and operation of the warning sirens. On Thursday, Hawaiʻi County police and fire personnel will monitor all 71 sites around the island to provide feedback about whether any sirens need to be repaired or adjusted.

State Civil Defense technicians did conduct maintenance last week on 11 sirens on the Big Island. At that time, all but the one at Laupāhoehoe Point were deemed functional.

During the recent tsunami warning, 40 sirens failed statewide:

Oahu—20
Maui—5
Molokaʻi—1
Kauai—4
Hawaiʻi—10

Where the sirens failed on the Big Island, patrol officers manually warned residents to evacuate by loud speaker.

The siren test, which is coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System, involves a steady 45-second tone on all sirens. The purpose of the steady tone is to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property. Besides natural and technological hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

When the siren signal is sounded in your area during an actual emergency, tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by Civil Defense agencies.

During the monthly test, participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean, as well as other related information.

Tests of State Civil Defense sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, typically on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaiʻi’s broadcasting industry. During the test, State Civil Defense officials remind the public that Civil Defense disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of telephone directories in all counties.

Ok well according to the Nixle web report that was sent out at 5:55 am this morning… Unfortunately if you don’t have a cell phone or don’t do text messages and rely upon E-mail for the notifications… you might not have gotten the warning until much later (See the time I received it via Email)

See the time I got this identical Emergency report circled in red (Click for larger view)

So as you can see the email report that was generated from a Nixle report didn’t get to me until after 4 hours after the initial report.

I also got the following NIXLE report on my phone from the Department of Emergency Management at 8:30 AM however despite having it selected on emails to get an email notice as well… I never got the Email of this notice at all:

This is a reminder that at 11:45 a.m. today the monthly test of the Outdoor Siren Warning System and Live Audio Broadcast in conjunction with Hawaii State Civil Defense will be conducted.

For the purpose of this test you will hear a 45-second steady tone on all sirens. When you hear the steady tone in circumstances other than a test, turn to any radio or television station for essential emergency information and instructions.

During an actual emergency these broadcasts will be heard at frequent intervals and may become continuous if need be.

In addition, residents in areas surrounding Campbell Industrial Park, Honokai Hale, Makakilo, Kapolei Regional Park, Kapolei Golf Course, and the Coast Guard Station at Kalaeloa may also hear a “whooping” tone following the Siren Test. This “whooping” tone is a test of the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Incident outdoor siren warning group that will be activated in the event of a HAZMAT incident.

NEW! Adopt-A-Siren Smartphone APP: Adopt-A-Siren: http://sirens.honolulu.gov/ Allows users to adopt a tsunami siren in their neighborhood. They will take responsibility for the siren by checking to ensure its functuality and report on the status of the siren to the City. The application also allows users to name their siren and receive an email notification alerting them when the siren will be tested.

Siren Malfunction: If the siren in your community does not sound or does not operate properly please call the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960 to report it. You can also email the department at dem@honolulu.gov. With more than 170 outdoor warning sirens on Oahu we appreciate the public’s assistance in identifying problem units.

Siren Damage or Vandalism: You can help us to safeguard our Outdoor Siren Warning System. Please report any acts of vandalism, damages, or missing sirens or components to the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960. You can also email the department at dem@honolulu.gov and include any images you may have of the siren in question. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the Honolulu Police Department by calling 911.

Residents now have the option of reporting malfunctioning or vandalized sirens on-line. Visit the City’s Siren Trouble Report page at http://www3.honolulu.gov/DEMSiren/ to file your report as well as upload pictures.

Remember, important emergency information including evacuation maps can be found in the Hawaiian Telecom and Paradise Pages telephone directories or on our website at www.oahuDEM.org.

In addition all Oahu residents are encouraged to sign-up to receive emergency email and cell phone text messages from the Board of Water Supply, Department of Emergency Management and the Honolulu Police Department by signing up with NIXLE at www.nixle.com/dem Standard text messaging rates may apply depending on your wireless carrier and plan.

Then as I’m driving around doing my job today… all of a sudden I hear a siren around 3:00 or so and I was like… what the heck… I quickly looked to see if I missed any Nixle reports or Emails on my phone and I didn’t see any.

I quit what I was doing for the day and headed home to see if I could figure out why this siren was going off.  Just as I pulled into my driveway… I receive the following Nixle report at 3:20:

The Civil Defense sirens that just sounded were not because of an emergency. The sirens are still being tested.

Now you would think that they would send out a Nixle Report ahead of testing so that folks wouldn’t be so on edge!
Now I just received the following Nixle report and you can count how many failed during the actual 11:45 test today… Unfortunately, as I said before… this test does not account for the Sirens that went off later then other sirens when it was an actual time of emergency.

In response to reports that some Civil Defense emergency sirens failed during the recent tsunami warning, Hawaiʻi County police and fire personnel were tasked with monitoring all 71 sites around the island to provide feedback about which sirens need to be repaired or adjusted.

Although the siren system is managed by State Civil Defense, the counties provide assistance with maintenance and operation of the warning sirens.

The test Thursday determined that 13 sirens are not working properly.

The sirens that did not sound at all or did not sound properly during the 11:45 a.m. monthly test were located at Kawailani Street in Hilo, Pāpaikou, Paauilo, Oʻokala, Hakalau, Laupāhoehoe Point Park, Honokaʻa, Waiaka, Puakō, Kamehameha Park, Kahaluʻu Beach Park, Nāpoʻopoʻo and Makuʻu Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

A follow-up test was conducted at 3:10 p.m.

Mayor Kenoi authorized immediate repairs in the interest of the public’s safety.

Personnel from State Civil Defense will be on the island of Hawaiʻi on Friday (November 2) to work with personnel from the Police Department’s Radio Shop and begin the repairs.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Earns “TsunamiReady/StormReady” Designation

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has received federal recognition for its efforts to protect visitors and staff from weather-related and natural hazards from shoreline to summit.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John
Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in
helping the park achieve its TsunamiReady/StormReady designation. NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

Park officials worked closely with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu to meet standards set forth by the NWS StormReady/TsunamiReady program.

“Our emergency plan is quite unique and challenging because the park encompasses a landscape that ranges from 32 miles of coastline, to the slopes and summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet,” said Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno.

The park’s coastal areas and Mauna Loa attract day visitors as well as campers and backpackers drawn to remote wilderness. The safety plan includes identifying tsunami inundation zones and marking them; new signage along the coastline; and revised literature in coastal area shelters. For Mauna Loa, the park developed a road and trail closure system based on NWS forecast models.

For more information on the park’s current and past weather conditions, visit http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/weather.htm. Visit www.stormready.noaa.gov for more information about the NWS TsunamiReady and StormReady programs.

Adopt a Tsunami Siren

NEW! Adopt-A-Siren Smartphone APP: Adopt-A-Siren: http://sirens.honolulu.gov/ Allows users to adopt a tsunami siren in their neighborhood. They will take responsibility for the siren by checking to ensure its functuality and report on the status of the siren to the City. The application also allows users to name their siren and receive an email notification alerting them when the siren will be tested.

Siren Malfunction: If the siren in your community does not sound or does not operate properly please call the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960 to report it. You can also email the department at dem@honolulu.gov. With more than 170 outdoor warning sirens on Oahu we appreciate the public’s assistance in identifying problem units.

Siren Damage or Vandalism: You can help us to safeguard our Outdoor Siren Warning System. Please report any acts of vandalism, damages, or missing sirens or components to the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960. You can also email the department at dem@honolulu.gov and include any images you may have of the siren in question. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the Honolulu Police Department by calling 911.

Residents now have the option of reporting malfunctioning or vandalized sirens on-line. Visit the City’s Siren Trouble Report page at http://www3.honolulu.gov/DEMSiren/ to file your report as well as upload pictures.

Remember, important emergency information including evacuation maps can be found in the Hawaiian Telecom and Paradise Pages telephone directories or on our website at www.oahuDEM.org.

Hawaii County Department Heads Meet With Civil Defense to Review Roles in Times of Emergency

A few days ago I posted about the State Launching a Disaster Preparedness Training Pilot program.

This morning Mayor Kenoi posted the following on his Facebook account:

Our department heads and key personnel spent today’s cabinet meeting in Civil Defense’s Emergency Operations Center to review everyone’s role in an emergency. County government’s job, above all else, is to preserve the health and safety of everyone in our community. Preparedness is key. 


Back in 2009, the County asked residents to complete this survey on Mitigating Hazards, however, I have yet to see the response from this survey… nor have I asked for the results.

Hawaii Launches Disaster Preparedness Pilot Program

Today is a perfect day to prepare—for the unexpected. That describes the theme of a pilot education campaign to encourage Hawai‘i residents to fully prepare for large-scale emergencies and disasters, before they happen. The pilot launched Wednesday, May 2, following Tsunami Preparedness Month in April.


Hawai‘i’s four county mayors, each with emergency management stories to tell, are rallying to kick off and support the campaign. They agree that the price of an unprepared Hawaii is too high.

Project research confirms that Hawai‘i residents are no strangers to disaster. Eighty-nine percent of residents say they have experienced a large-scale disaster, but only 25 percent say they are very prepared. Eighty-two percent of residents also believe that government and community organizations are primarily responsible for their preparedness. Many residents said they were too busy or that they never thought about preparing. Others even admitted to being lazy or resigned to wait until the need arises.

“Many people are not as prepared as they think are. Many others would wait until it is too late to prepare. We’ve seen lines at gas stations and grocery stores when storms head our way,” said Mayor Peter Carlisle, “The goal of this campaign is to determine the best ways to get individuals, families and businesses ready for disasters—before they come. “We need to educate our community about what it means to be fully prepared: emergency kits that are complete and sufficient for seven days; a plan that describes what each family member or employee can do during an emergency; and staying informed about emergency situations, including knowing evacuation routes and shelter locations.”

Counties, under the leadership of their emergency management programs, work together every day to help residents plan and prepare for catastrophic events such as natural disasters and human-caused disasters, including terrorism. The City and County of Honolulu is leading this project for the counties under the FEMA Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. O‘ahu is the site for the pilot campaign to determine what messages and methods of communication are most likely to improve disaster preparedness.

“Hawai‘i has island-specific disaster preparedness challenges affected by a combination of economic, language and cultural factors. But the state is also blessed with committed organizations that serve vulnerable populations and help in outreach,” said Melvin N. Kaku, Honolulu’s Director of Emergency Management. “There is no better time than now to prepare.”

The campaign includes public service announcements that include a TV spot, several radio spots, print advertising, environmental advertising, point-of-purchase displays at retail locations and a significant online/social media presence.

The pilot campaign is supported by significant in-kind donations from media outlets and retailers, and is supported by Retail Merchants of Hawai‘i. Throughout the month of May, retailers will promote disaster preparedness through in-store education and product displays that highlight both disaster preparedness supplies and information about what it means to be fully prepared.

For more information about the pilot campaign, or to download a complete media kit, visit www.GetReadyHawaii.org.

Hawaii State Civil Defense to Test 13 Oahu Outdoor Warning Sirens on Wednesday and Thursday

Department of Emergency Management Message:

State Civil Defense will test 13 Oahu sirens this week Wednesday and Thursday, March 23-24, 2011.

Residents in the areas listed below may hear the steady siren tone during the scheduled times and should not be alarmed.

The sirens and schedule for testing is:

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Makaha North
Waianae Shopping Center
Nanaikapono School
Honouliuli

Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sandy Beach
Hanauma Bay
Maunalua Beach Park
Kamioiki Neighborhood Park

Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Aikahi Park
Heeia Kea Pier
Ahuimanu Sewage Treatment Plant
Waihole Beach Park

Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Turtle Bay

Times are approximate and may change based on installation times. Residents in these areas may call State Civil Defense at 733-4300 with any questions or concerns.