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FFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR MOVES FORWARD TO IMPROVE
Mayor Mufi Hannemann yesterday (Monday, October 23, 2006) held the first of what will be a series of regular meetings with executives of Hawaii’s four major television stations to improve Honolulu’s emergency communications.
Participants in yesterday’s meeting included the general managers of KHON, KITV and KGMB and the news director for KFVE/KHNL as well as Mayor Hannemann and his executive advisor, Jeff Coelho, a longtime
The TV executives expressed agreement with the mayor’s proposal that City officials use the City’s
The TV executives said it would be a good idea to use those links in emergencies to get vital information to their audiences. (However, not all of the stations have backup generator power to broadcast during a blackout.)
They also were pleased to hear that the City plans to use the national Emergency Alert System to communicate directly to the public. The EAS system in
Coelho noted that federal law provides for counties or other local governments to use the EAS. He also pointed out that the state’s EAS plan, written in 2003, provides for sending emergency alerts over designated radio stations. The state plan, however, designates no television stations. That omission is being addressed by the City, he said.
The meeting with the television leaders was held in the OCDA emergency operations center. “We’d like you to know that we welcome the media here,” said Hannemann. “In any emergency, it is the City that provides all of the initial responses – fire, police and emergency medical personnel. Those are all City people, and we just feel the City is in the best position to give the media and the public the most accurate, up-to-date information. That was not the case on Blackout Sunday, October 15.”
Hannemann noted that one TV station, KHON, has a direct link between Oahu Civil Defense Agency, in the basement of the
The mayor told the TV officials the City will continue working with the state. However, he added, “It’s clear that we have the ability and responsibility to communicate directly with the public on
In addition to yesterday’s meeting, Hannemann has contacted the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, which includes television and radio executives, to begin a regular dialogue with the City over emergency communications issues. The mayor hopes to meet with the group at least three times a year at the Oahu Civil Defense emergency operations center.
Bill Brennan, 527-6928
Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767
|Wednesday, October 25, 2006|