"Being well-prepared for emergencies is critically important for the well-being of the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands" said University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Chancellor, Virginia Hinshaw at the opening yesterday of the nation's new FEMA training center.
University of Hawai'i at Mãnoa press release - 5 February 2010
Center will focus on training needs specific to island communities
A ceremony celebrating the establishment of the newest Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC ) will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, from 11 a.m. to noon at the East-West Center’s Keoni Auditorium. The Center, headquartered at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, is the newest of seven federally funded members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).
In conjunction with the UH NDPTC ceremony, the Center will host the quarterly meeting of the NDPC on February 8-11, 2010. About 100 emergency responders, educators and community leaders from Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands will attend various training seminars, workshops and events to acquire high-quality disaster training, which focuses on Hawai‘i, the Pacific Islands and other coastal communities.
UH’s NDPTC will add to the nation’s all-hazards capabilities by focusing on programming and training for the following:
· natural hazards.
· coastal communities.
· special needs and resources of island communities and territories.
Training sessions will include a demonstration of the NDPTC’s tsunami awareness course and training by Louisiana State University’s National Center for Bio-Medical Research and Training (NCBRT) to address campus emergencies associated with spontaneous events requiring the immediate attention of college and campus officials, emergency responders, elected officials and other community stakeholders. The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) will conduct training on event security planning for state and local law enforcement agencies. Attendees will also visit Kilauea Volcano, the Pacific Tsunami Museum and the tsunami evacuation zone.
Under the leadership of U.S. Senate Appropriations Chair Daniel K. Inouye and Senate Homeland Security Committee senior member Daniel K. Akaka, the University of Hawai‘i was recently awarded more than $4.8 million for FY 2009 by the Department of Homeland Security. The appropriated funds will be used to conduct research to develop and deliver disaster training for responders, decision-makers, policy-analysts and urban planners to ensure they are prepared to respond in an event of a catastrophe.
“The Center’s strategic placement at the University of Hawai‘i will position it as a significant resource for emergency responders in Hawai‘i, the Pacific and the country,” said Sen. Inouye. “This training capability adds to FEMA’s mission and responsibility. With proper training, the center serves, in large degree, as an agent of FEMA to enhance its ability to safeguard communities.”
“I can think of no better place for this Center than to be affiliated with the University,” said University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood. “With its access to a wide range of University resources, this Center can surely contribute to develop our nation's capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters.”
The Natural Disaster Preparedness Training Center will be led by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Professor Karl Kim, who will serve as Executive Director of the Center. Kim is a UHM faculty member in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning who is routinely called upon by international, national, state and local agencies to provide technical assistance related to climate change, disaster resilience and urban planning.
“Sen. Inouye’s leadership brought the Center to life at a critical time, given the number of recent worldwide disasters,” said Kim. “The NDPTC will be a vital resource for the university, the state and the world, particularly the Pacific Island region. Over the next few years, we plan to expand our all-hazards capabilities for natural disasters, which will complement the strengths of our partner centers.”
“Being well-prepared for emergencies is critically important for the well-being of the people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. “The NDPTC will bring together expertise from many groups across the campus, the UH system and Hawai‘i. Such education and preparation efforts will make us all feel and be more secure, so UH Mānoa is truly pleased to be a partner in this important endeavor.”
The NDPTC works closely with its affiliate partners including the Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Services Center; International Tsunami Information Center; the Pacific Disaster Center; Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory; Center for Tsunami Research, Center for Excellence: In Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance; Partnership for Disaster Resilience at the University of Oregon; and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.
The other six members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium include the National Nuclear Security Administration, Counter Terrorism Operations Support; New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Energetic Materials and Research Testing Center; National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education (Louisiana State University); National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (Texas A&M University); Center for Domestic Preparedness; and the National Center for Emergency Response to Surface Transportation.