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Press Releases

Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Friday, September 28, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.3 Million to Upgrade Disaster Preparedness System in Hawaii

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced a $1.3 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the state of Hawaii's Civil Defense Division to help upgrade the state's disaster preparedness system, including a system of tsunami warning sirens.

"This $1.3 million Economic Development Administration investment is an example of the Obama administration's commitment to ensuring our homes and businesses are protected during natural disasters," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "The grant announced today will help Hawaii put in place a new warning system that will enable the state to minimize loss of life and economic activity in the wake of a disaster, and assure that normal quality-of-life and business activity are able to resume as quickly as possible."

The EDA funds will pay for the replacement of 10 sirens and provide six new ones to the islands of Oahu and Hawaii, with features that will increase the sirens' useful life and reliability. These include composite poles, solar-powered systems, and satellite and/or cellular communication devices for controlling the sirens. The disaster preparedness project also includes a tsunami awareness outreach campaign to assist visitors and residents of Hawaii to better prepare for, and respond to, disasters.

This project is part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.

Within the context of the administration's National Disaster Recovery Framework (PDF) (NDRF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. The activities consist primarily of improved information sharing and the leveraging of existing resources to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.