Hawaii's disaster warning system gets $8 million upgrade

HONOLULU (KHNL) - When a natural disaster strikes, Hawaii will be better prepared.  The State will receive more than $8 million to upgrade its disaster warning system.

The funds will be used to upgrade existing civil defense sirens and install new solar-powered sirens throughout the state, focusing on tsunami inundation zones.

"Sirens are an effective tool for alerting the public in emergencies," said Governor Linda Lingle.  "It is imperative that we have a comprehensive and up-to-date system in place to support State Civil Defense in responding to disasters and keeping our residents and visitors safe."

State Civil Defense has identified the need for 249 sirens to be installed or replaced on the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu.

Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2008 and be completed in December 2009.