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Still not ready for big disaster


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 11, 2012

~~<p>There is no doubt that Hawaii has made strides toward better emergency preparedness in the two decades since Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai and caused severe damage statewide. That's the good news. The more cautionary tale is that the next significant storm to strike the islands very well may stretch our coping capacity to the limit.</p>
<p>That's because, for starters, the state still hasn't done enough to prepare enough shelters for its current population and anticipated visitor count. On Kauai, the target zone of Hawaii's last two major hurricanes, there are 19,300 structures that are certified to withstand gale-force winds, according to the American Red Cross. But that's insufficient to accommodate the Garden Island's 67,500 residents and the 20,000 additional people who, on average, are visiting.</p>
~~

There is no doubt that Hawaii has made strides toward better emergency preparedness in the two decades since Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai and caused severe damage statewide. That's the good news. The more cautionary tale is that the next significant storm to strike the islands very well may stretch our coping capacity to the limit.

That's because, for starters, the state still hasn't done enough to prepare enough shelters for its current population and anticipated visitor count. On Kauai, the target zone of Hawaii's last two major hurricanes, there are 19,300 structures that are certified to withstand gale-force winds, according to the American Red Cross. But that's insufficient to accommodate the Garden Island's 67,500 residents and the 20,000 additional people who, on average, are visiting. Login for more...



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