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Tsunami Safe Disaster Preparedness Fair

On Saturday, April 19, 2008 there was a Tsunami Safe Disaster Preparedness Fair in Downtown Hilo at the Connections Public Charter School in the Kress Building. The organizers and presenters included the Pacific Tsunami Museum, the County of Hawaii Planning Department, and the Connections Public Charter School.

There were numerous displays and informational handouts explaining natural phenomena such as tsunamis, fire events, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Focus was on how to be prepared for such disasters. There were informational booths on flood issues, business preparedness and recovery, and disaster response training. Local students displayed and explained posters that they prepared. There was even a keiki (children's) area with puzzles and activities for children to learn about tsunamis and other hazards.

Above - Civil Defense Administrator, Quince Mento (right) gave a talk on the importance of personal preparedness. Genevieve Cain, Tsunami Outreach Coordinator on left.
Presentation about tsunamis in other communities by Patrick Corcoran
Display on fire safety

The Fair featured talks by tsunami survivors in Hawaii including Bob "Steamy" Chow pictured left, Jeanne Johnston, and Millie Uchima. 2004 Thailand tsunami observer Susan O'Neill also gave a talk. The audience truly got a feel for what it was like to live through a tsunami. There were also talks on "The Role of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center", "Tsunami Warning and Response" and on "Tsunami Resilience in Other Communities". In addition, the Director of the Pacific Tsunami Museum, Donna Saiki, gave informational talks throughout the day.


The idea for a Fair stemmed from the recent collaboration with the County of Hawaii Planning Department to educate and prepare businesses for disaster. The idea found fertile ground and blossomed as the involvement grew, first with "Envision Hilo 2025", and then encompassing other sponsors and agencies. The result was a real treasure of a group of people that worked together to produce a very worthwhile community function. Sponsors included NOAA-Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program, the County of Hawaii Planning Department, UH East-West Center, and State Farm Insurance.

Student work at Connections Charter School

  • Special thanks to:
  • Mayor Harry Kim and Managing Director Dixie Kaetsu,
  • Civil Defense Director Quince Mento
  • Chris Yuen and Deputy Director, Brad Kurokawa
  • Connections Public Charter School
  • Kaholo Daguman
  • Tim O'Bryan
  • Patrick Corcoran
  • Dr. Nathan Becker and Delores Clark
  • Rachelle Ley, Planning Department Student Intern
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo Student Volunteers
  • Students of Ke Ana La'ahana Charter School


Exhibitors and Presenters in alphabetical order:

  • Big Island Amateur Radio Club
  • C.E.R.T. Community Emergency Response Teams
  • Connections Public Charter School
  • County of Hawaii:
    • Civil Defense, Department of Research & Development, Department of Water Supply, Fire Department, Planning Department, Police Department
  • EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 VisionKeepers
  • Hilo Downtown Improvement Association
  • Hilo Bay Watershed Advisory Group
  • Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association
  • Ke Ana La'ahana Charter School
  • Medical Reserve Corps
  • NOAA National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • Oregon State University Sea Grant Program
  • Pacific Tsunami Museum
  • PTWC Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
  • Red Cross
  • TRAP Tsunami Risk Assessment Program

For more information on the Tsunami Education, Preparation, and Recovery Project, please contact:

Genevieve Cain, Tsunami Outreach Coordinator, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Telephone # (808) 935-0926

Christian Kay, Project Manager,County of Hawaii Planning Department, Telephone # (808) 961-8288 x 254



All materials © Copyright 1996-2010 Pacific Tsunami Museum Inc.
130 Kamehameha Ave Hilo, HI 96720 tel: 808-935-0926 FAX: 808-935-0842 email:
Last Revised July 2010