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Sign Up For New Emergency Alerts

Maui County News Release

Now that the 2015 Pacific Hurricane Season has officially kicked off with the formation of Tropical Storm Andres off the Coast of Mexico last week, Maui County residents are urged to sign up for “Maka`ala,” the Maui County Civil Defense’s new Emergency Alert System.

We need to be prepared for this storm and the several other storm systems that are predicted to form this year.

“Maka`ala translated from Hawaiian means to be alert, aware and vigilant and we want residents to be just that,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We have had a number of tropical storms, hurricanes, tsunamis and other emergency events hit Maui County in recent years, and Maka`ala notifications will allow people to watch out for the next emergency event and hopefully enable them to stay out of harm’s way.”

Maka`ala allows Maui Civil Defense officials to create customized messages for residents who register for it. The emergency alerts can be sent directly to mobile devices or personal computers. If a subscriber does not have an electronic device Maui Civil Defense will call your home phone, but only during “warning” level events such as a flash-flood warnings or hurricane warnings.

Maui County Emergency Management Officer Anna Foust said that along with putting together an emergency kit and having an evacuation plan, residents should sign up for the Maka`ala updates as another way to stay prepared.

“The Maka`ala notifications will enable us to create targeted public messages, which will better serve us during times of emergency,” Foust said. “For example, if we have to evacuate all Kahului residents living in the tsunami inundation zone, all Kahului residents who have signed up for the Maka`ala service who are in that particular area will be geo-coded and receive a message letting them know how much time they have to get to higher ground.

A sample message during an emergency to Maka`ala users could read: “You are in a tsunami inundation zone and will need to evacuate the area by ___ time. Your nearest emergency shelter is located at ___.”

To sign up for the Maka`ala Emergency Alert System online, visit the Maui County website at mauicounty.gov, click on the “Emergency Preparedness” tab on the left then click on “Maka`ala – Maui County Emergency Alert System.”

Residents who do not have a computer or other electronic device may call the Maui County Civil Defense Office at 808-270-7285 and ask to be signed up over the phone. For more information, call Maui County Civil Defense or email: civildefense@mauicounty.gov.

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