Ask the Mayor: When Will the Siren in Kūʻau Be Fixed?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Q: We were informed there would be testing of the sirens in Pā‘ia; however, the siren for the Kūʻau area (near “Blue Tiles”) is still not working. Why wasn’t this fixed? We are in a tsunami zone and the warning system is critical. When will the siren for the Kūʻau area of Pā‘ia be repaired? Thank you.
A: Unfortunately, fixing the existing siren is not an option. The Kūʻau siren that you’re referring to was assessed by a state contractor and has been deemed irreparable, and due to the age of the siren, parts are no longer available for purchase.
The State of Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, which owns and maintains the statewide emergency siren system, is in the process of pursuing a new siren location nearby at Lae Park. This new siren, along with the others that were recently installed by the state at several Maui County locations, including the Pā‘ia Youth & Cultural Center, will cover a larger area.
The county’s role is to sound the sirens each month for testing and emergency notifications. The Maui County Civil Defense Agency takes a layered approach to emergency notifications by utilizing the following agencies/systems to distribute information quickly: Maui Police Department; Maui County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); Civil Air Patrol; E.A.S notification on radio/T.V.; Maui County Emergency Alerts utilizing Maka‘ala.
If you haven’t done so already, I highly encourage you to sign up for our county alerts at www.mauicounty.gov/emergencyalerts; this is an excellent tool for staying informed.