Resilience challenge

The state and 4 county governments of Hawai’i initially identified a need for pandemic planning. This effort revealed a range of other challenges, including continuity of operations, mass fatality management, port resilience and recovery plans. As it addressed these vulnerabilities, Hawai’i decided to test its overall preparedness through a series of hurricane exercises.

Witt O’Brien’s solution

Hawai’i and its 4 counties already had a range of good plans in place, but there were significant gaps and a lack of integration. Our approach was based on direct engagement with over 150 state and county-level agencies and a wide range of other stakeholders. Our team drew on first-hand government experience to benchmark overall preparedness and identify gaps against federal requirements and national best practices. Our front-line experience across preparedness, response and recovery allowed us to address these different requirements in an integrated program. Last but not least, decades of experience helped us design and deliver the largest series of hurricane exercises in Hawai’i’s history.

Resilience delivered

We completed – on time and on budget – a wide range of integrated planning and exercise projects that have allowed Hawai’i to respond to a variety of hazards in a more coordinated and effective way:

  • Pandemic preparedness: state-wide concept of operations, 4 county-level plans, tabletop exercise kit
  • Continuity of operations: 71 country-level plans, 76 state department plans
  • Mass fatality: 4 county management plans and field operational guides
  • Critical infrastructure: state-wide prioritization and resource guide
  • Port resilience: assessment, recovery plan, port asset tracking tool
  • Hurricane exercise: we designed and delivered 15 full-scale exercises, 7 table-top exercises and 5 3-day functional exercises


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