STAR-BULLETIN / OCTOBER 2006
Passengers sit by their luggage at Honolulu Airport after a magnitude-6.7 earthquake on the Big Island causes an islandwide power failure on Oahu. Officials now say backup generators have been leased that will allow the airport to operate at near-normal conditions if another blackout were to occur.
State works to learn after disaster
State agencies and media outlets have focused on improving internal communication, updating emergency plans and securing backup power to be prepared in case of another natural disaster such as the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck off the Big Island almost a year ago.
For example, state Department of Transportation officials say backup generators have been leased that will allow Honolulu Airport to operate at near-normal conditions if another islandwide blackout were to occur.
Meanwhile, representatives from newspapers, television and radio outlets say they have focused mostly on securing backup power through emergency generators.
Organizations updated Lingle administration officials on emergency preparedness plans yesterday at a meeting of the Governor's Comprehensive Communications Review Committee.
The committee, which consists of television, radio and newspaper representatives, wireless service providers, utility companies and various state agencies, was formed days after the Oct. 15 earthquakes.
Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, director of state Civil Defense and a co-chairman of the committee, said the quake provided "the chance to take a comprehensive look at everything."
"There were some special cases and special needs, but I think we can bring them all together," he added.
Communications were hampered mostly due to power failures, which lasted as long as 20 hours in some parts of Oahu.
Lenny Klompus, Gov. Linda Lingle's adviser on communications and co-chairman of the committee, said the working group plans to submit a final report to the governor next month, just before the first anniversary of the quakes.