STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1124
RE: H.B. No. 571
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 571, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to support public education on emergency management and disaster preparedness by appropriating funds for the University of Hawaii sea grant college program to:
(1) Develop a communication strategy and outreach plan for emergency management and disaster preparedness;
(2) Update and publish the fourth edition of the Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards; and
(3) Conduct a systematic and targeted education and outreach initiative throughout the State for emergency management and disaster preparedness.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System; Hawaii Emergency Management Agency; Department of Emergency Management, City and County of Honolulu; Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency; Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.; Island Preparedness Group; Maritime Group, LLC; and four individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Disability and Communications Access Board.
Your Committees find that in 1982, Hurricane ‘Iwa caused $320,000,000 in damages on Kauai, and in 1992, Hurricane Iniki caused $1,800,000,000 in damages and destroyed or damaged 7,000 homes. An assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicates that a strike similar to Iniki on Oahu could be eight times more damaging. Your Committees further find that Hawaii saw a record number of hurricane warnings and misses in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and it is in the public interest to take stronger action to prepare for potential natural disasters.
Your Committees additionally find that the University of Hawaii sea grant college program is well positioned to help educate the public on emergency management and disaster preparedness. The program has demonstrated success through its publication of the Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards that provides useful tips regarding readiness for natural hazards that may affect Hawaii such as tsunamis and hurricanes. The publication provides guidance on evacuation planning and explains various measures to reduce property damage through home retrofit.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 571, H.D. 1, and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair