State Civil Defense Coordinates Emergency Drill

Gregg Takayama
Gregg Takayama

MANOA (KHNL) - Whether it's an act of nature or something more sinister like the Virginia Tech tragedy, University officials are improving their ability to communicate among themselves and with students.

This is a routine, rainy day on the Manoa campus. Students rush to class unaware a massive and completely made-up 8.0 earthquake in Alaska sends a tsunami in our direction.

A cell phone message is part of the scenario created at State Civil Defense to test communications at U-H and other state agencies.

University spokesman Gregg Takayama explains "This test will notify all the senior management at all the campuses throughout the U-H system."

If there was an actual crisis impacting the campus a message would be broadcast through building public address systems. Also security officers would drive around and use loudspeakers to warn students.

Soon they hope to be able to text emergency messages to more than 20-thousand students.

"The capability of sending text messages to all the cell phone users, students staff and faculty on campus, ' believes Takayama.

Students like Rocky Savaiiguea think it's a good idea, "By them doing these practices and what not, just raises awareness and prepares people overall because you never know when those situations may happen."

Whether the danger is from mother nature or man created. Solomon Elimimian says, "You look at an event like that very tragic you know and the best thing to do is learn from it. Hawaii is taking the right steps to help not just students but staff and security officers be aware stuff like this can go on, can happen."

The big concern right now is what will happen to the cell phone systems when the University sends out some 20-thousand messages at the same time.