Preparedness – Hawaiian Style

Welcome back to yet another SPECIAL EDITION of my blog.  This week I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to be in Honolulu, Hawaii teaching Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager classes.  This is my first trip to Hawaii, so I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead this week … and sharing those sites and experiences with you.

Getting to Hawaii – Saturday

It's a good time to be leaving St. Louis

When I left St. Louis, Missouri early yesterday morning it was dark, very cold (in the teens) and snowing.  It was a great time to leave for sunshine and warmer climates.  I flew my favorite airline, Southwest from St. Louis to Los Angeles with a change of planes in Denver, CO.  I know I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again … I really enjoy flying with Southwest.  Their fares are reasonable, their customer service is outstanding, they have a good frequent flyer program, and they don’t charge for your first two checked bags!  I only wish they flew to Hawaii.

On a related item, in the December 2011 issue of “Fire Chief” magazine  editorial director Janet Wilmoth wrote about how Southwest could be seen as a role-model for fire departments.  In her article she mentions a few strategic initiatives that are as applicable to fire departments as they are to Southwest, including:

  • Standardization
  • Service, and
  • Culture

I ate the "double double" animal style

I had a four-hour layover at LAX in Los Angeles so I took advantage of the opportunity and had lunch with my nephew, Kevin.  While reconnecting with Kevin is great, he made the visit even better by taking me to a place I’ve wanted to try for many years, but never had the chance.  Kevin took me to “In-N-Out Burger” !  What a neat place.  Their menu is very limited to burgers, fries, and drinks.  But since I was with an experienced “guide”, we ordered something that wasn’t on the menu.  A “double-double animal style”.  Two hamburgers with pickles, cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and their special sauce (thousand island like).  Man, was it good!  After lunch, Kev dropped me off back at the airport for my final leg of the day’s journey.

From Los Angeles to Honolulu I flew United.  I think I flew many years ago, but not recently.  I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice the five-hour flight was.  The plane was a big 767 and was clean.  The seats were very comfortable.  And the customer service was very good.

Altogether, I spent 20 hours in travel time, of which five were spent on the flight from LA to Honolulu.

Welcome to Hawaii

This week I have the great fortune to work again with a good friend of mine.  Although we haven’t known each other very long, we’ve worked together in Reno (last month) as well as at FEMA’s EMI in Emmitsburg, MD (last October).   Wilson is one of the best instructors I’ve worked with.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, I admire his teaching capabilities.  PLUS, he’s just an all-around good guy!  Anyway, Wilson picked me up at the airport and then took me on a little tour of Oahu.  I actually think we were lost but of course being men, we weren’t about to stop and ask for directions.

For those attending classes this week, the organizers of this great training opportunity wanted to provide an “EMI experience”.  To help create that experience, those from out-of-town are all staying at the new Hawaii National Guard 298th Regiment MFTU (RTI). If you click on the link, take a look at the “Welcome Brief”.

We’re tourists – Sunday

So, today Wilson and I spent the day playing tourists.

Weather was great today.  Mostly sunny, high in the low 80’s, and gentle ENE winds.  There were just a couple of things we knew we had to do while we had the chance.  We wanted to go see Pearl Harbor and also the U.S.S. Missouri

To have the opportunity to see both of these historic sites, it truly reminds us how fortunate we are to live in America.  And when you collectively look at Pearl Harbor along with other attacks like the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City and of course 9/11, you are reminded about how resilient we Americans really are.

Here’s some pictures from today …

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On the way back to the RTI, we had the opportunity to see some of the beaches and the ocean …

And of course, no trip out-of-town is complete until you have visited the local Walmart …

Does your local Walmart have a Hawaiian BBQ?

Well, I hope you will follow me this week and check back daily to see what’s going on in our class and throughout the state of Hawaii with respect to emergency management.   Along with our classroom experiences, I’ll also be briefing you about some of the guest speakers who will be joining us this week as well.  So stay tuned.

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One Response to Preparedness – Hawaiian Style

  1. Dan Bodnar says:

    Aloha Tim!

    Make sure that SPAM is big part of your emergency preparedness plan! Enjoy the islands.

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