Is Hawaiʻi ready for a Category 4 hurricane? State conducting readiness exercises

The 2022 annual Makani Pahili exercises to test Hawaiʻi’s hurricane preparedness and response capabilities will take place May 9-16. File photo of past exercises by Wendy Osher.

The State of Hawaiʻi will conduct the annual 2022 Makani Pahili series of exercises to test statewide hurricane preparedness and response capabilities May 9 to 16.

The weeklong exercise series, coordinated by the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), will test key elements of the State’s response to a simulated Category 4 hurricane. 

“These exercises provide a crucial test of Hawaii‘s emergency management systems, showing us what works well and what needs improvement before a storm hits and lives are on the line,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of HI-EMA. “A challenging test makes us stronger.”

Participants include county emergency management agencies, state leadership, and federal, private and nonprofit partners.

As part of the exercise, the State Emergency Operations Center inside Diamond Head Crater in Honolulu will be activated on May 9. Events associated with the activation are not expected to impact the public, but there is a possibility that individuals monitoring radio broadcasts on certain channels may hear radio chatter by participating HAM Radio operators from the state Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) program.

A safety officer will be on hand to monitor activities. In the event of an injury during the simulation or a real world emergency, the exercise will be halted.

Makani Pahili, meaning “strong winds” in Hawaiian, is the stateʻs annual hurricane preparedness exercise. This year will mark a return to in-person events; restrictions during the COVID-19 emergency period limited the 2020 and 2021 events to largely virtual events.

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