USAG-HI prepares for hurricane season
June 15, 2012
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii participated in Hawaii's annual hurricane exercise known as Makani Pahili (Hawaiian for strong winds), here, May 29-June 7.
The exercise tested the garrison's capabilities to respond to and sustain life during a hurricane affecting Army installations in the Hawaiian Islands.
The garrison started planning for the yearly exercise in February, the events of which are executed after the Memorial Day weekend.
This exercise involved all directorates and installation tenant units that have emergency support functions in support of Army installations. It gives all agencies involved the opportunity to test, evaluate and update procedures and to activate memorandums of agreement and memorandums of understanding with partner agencies and the state of Hawaii.
This year's exercise began with a message sent from Hawaii's Pacific Disaster Center, or PDC, of a severe weather warning. From May 29 to June 4, pre-landfall activities were executed to help prepare the installation to sustain a hurricane.
Then, in the scenario, a Category 4 hurricane -- with wind speeds up to 150 mph, massive rain and flooding -- struck Oahu the evening of June 4.
USAG-HI's emergency operations center went into post-landfall activities, with damage assessments and possible loss of life and property, June 5-7. The garrison conducted a command post exercise to simulate damages with key objectives:
•to test the effectiveness of the installation disaster preparedness operations plan and emergency operations center procedures,
•to test mass notification systems and alert notification procedures,
•to test and exercise shelter in place and safe haven operations,
•to test family assistance center operations at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter, and
•to improve internal emergency operations center operations and procedures.
The 45th Special Troops Battalion and 205th Military Intelligence Battalion supported the installation with safe haven operations. Also, installation family assistance centers processed Soldiers and volunteers to assist with the discomforts and losses that were also simulated during Makani Pahili.
After the HUREX, emergency operations center staff evaluated and assessed USAG-HI's preparations for disaster, its technical performance and its procedural steps. Together with the garrison commander, Col. Douglas Mulbury, directorates, supporting staff and tenants gathered valuable after-action analysis that will aid readiness and recovery from potential hurricanes.
Hawaii's hurricane season began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.