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coconuts and equipment on a table
Equipment in the CTAHR Maui Extension office for disaster prep training.

In response to the 2023 wildfires on Maui, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) was awarded a $100,001 grant from USDA, NIFA Rapid Response program to lead a series of adapted disaster preparedness training workshops for the Maui community.

Participants will:

  • practice CPR, first aid and fire suppression; prepare an emergency kit;
  • learn about firewise plants and landscaping to mitigate fires;
  • and participate in activities on well-being.

Resources will be provided to participants who complete the entire workshop. Workshops will take place in Kihei, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahului, Upcountry and Lahaina, and are scheduled to begin in March and continue through November.

“The recent disasters of COVID-19 and wildfires have caused forced disruptions in activity, limited information about the future, and economic instability,” said Nancy Ooki, a CTAHR Maui extension agent. “The combination has placed the Maui community in a position of feeling a sense of loss of control, decision-making ability, and uncertainty of the future. Our hope is that by providing education and training around disasters and emergencies, the community can better understand the recovery process and how each person can be an active participant in helping the community to heal.”

The workshops will target a variety of stakeholders: farmers, ranchers, home gardeners, landscape professionals, teachers, parents and youth—who will also participate as community members working to rebuild Maui after the disaster.

Each workshop will be specific enough to impart knowledge and skills, while general enough to allow all participants to make some connection to the material. This format will also strengthen the community-building concept through shared ideas and collaboration.

“Our goal is to increase community member potential for emergency response to future disasters and to strengthen resilience and promote community building through resource and knowledge-sharing, skill-building, and leadership training,” said Ooki.

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