When emergency management workers from Washington travel to Hawaii to help respond to the Kilauea volcanic eruption, they also learn valuable lessons for Washington’s own volcano program.
Brian Terbush, Washington Emergency Management Division’s volcano program coordinator, recently returned from a five-day stint in Hawaii, where he observed the erupting Kilauea volcano and spent time working in an Emergency Operations Center there. Terbush helps with preparedness activities for Washington’s volcano program.
“Our state has enormous volcanic threats, and this was a great opportunity to get hands-on experience working in an EOC that is responding to an active volcano,” Terbush said. “We have a lot we can learn from this.”
On Friday, Washington EMD’s Logistics Division also received a call for more help from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency under the national Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
A six-person support team, made up of employees from the state Department of Health and the state Department of Corrections, responded to that call for help. The Washington Incident Management team will conduct EOC operations to facilitate continuity of operations, planning and logistics at the Hawaii County Emergency Operations Center in Hilo for the eruption. The team heads to Hawaii today, reports to work on Wednesday, and is expected to travel home on July 11.
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