On Better Sirens

Maui sirens did not go off before or during the fires. I am so sorry. To my beloved Hawaiian community, I have an idea that may help or save us in the future.  Authorities say, if the alarm siren had sounded, it may have caused people to run up and toward the fire. To me, the flaw is in the single use and single designation of the alarm siren. There is a very simple fix going forward, hopefully immediately: have two designations for our early warning alarm system that everyone can understand immediately.  

The steady siren, like our current monthly tests, designates a tsunami warning. While a beeping siren would designate a fire warning.  

It’s a simple programming solution. Nothing complicated. No new bureaucracy or technology or building projects or permits. It’s one that can be implemented easily and immediately — one that even our keiki can understand. Also, there should be a range of officials who can trigger the alarm, not just one office. Tests every month would be the same, a steady tsunami siren followed by a beeping fire siren. All Hawaii residents would be notified of this improvement. 

I am stricken by the failure of any warnings for our dear ‘ohana on Maui. I pray that this easy solution be implemented immediately and that it will save precious lives on all our islands in the future.  

Caroline Bolding, Kaunakakai


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