Resilience Roundtable: Planning for Volcanic Activity in Hawaii

About This Episode

In 2018, eruptions from the Kīlauea volcano caused widespread devastation to Hawaii's Big Island. It decimated more than 700 structures and uprooted more than 3,000 people. Resilience Roundtable host Jim Schwab, FAICP, talks with Douglas Le, AICP, disaster recovery officer with the County of Hawaii, to learn about the particularities of volcanic eruptions — a natural hazard few planners deal with.

Douglas explains their unique geological nature, but he also describes concerns of postdisaster recovery that will be familiar to planners everywhere, such as helping residents who lost their homes get access to the funding they need to rebuild.

Guiding much of the county's recovery work is the Kīlauea Recovery and Resilience Plan, the overarching strategy that was released in late 2020 and features in Jim and Douglas's discussion. Throughout the conversation, Douglas underscores the balance that planners must strike to help provide immediate relief to residents while looking to the future, to make the entire community as strong as possible.

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