Wildfires in Maui Hawaii forcing evacuations

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, T&M, P&C
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Mahalo/thank you @Vash01 , that's really thoughtful of you, and even more kudos for caring where your donations actually go.

Here are some reputable charities in Hawai'i with dedicated funds for Maui:
Hawai‘i Community Foundation MAUI STRONG FUND
Aloha United Way - Maui Fire Relief Fund

Maui Nui Strong
This site has a list of smaller organizations, e.g., the Maui Food Bank, Maui Humane Society, etc.. The smaller and more local the organization, the better chances your donation goes directly to those affected.

I personally avoid the Red Cross. What their workers and volunteers do is fantastic and generous. However, the organization itself has a reputation for not giving donations directly to victims, or they may hold onto the money for other disasters. But if anybody believes in them, don't let me stop you.

I also avoid GoFundMe unless I know someone IRL or someone I know can personally vouch for the family. Grifters are notorious for taking advantage of disasters like this.

Thanks for the links. I just made a donation.
 

DORISPULASKI

Watching submarine races
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Here's what the Hawaii Conference that Waiola Church belongs to has to say:


It looks like the donation link on the Waiola Church webpage should work.
 

Oreo

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Another good charity that is already bringing aid to Maui is World Central Kitchen. This is the organization headed by Chef José Andrés. So far, they've been bringing food and meals to the first responders and to houses that are sheltering dozens of people who have lost everything. I donated to them when they were setting kitchens up in Ukraine.
 

Vash01

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Very sad. They found remains of two long time residents of Lahaina. The link tells us about these unfortunate people.


Latest death toll 99. :( There are more tragic stories, as rescuers find more remains.

 
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Cachoo

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Very sad. They found remains of two time residents of Lahaina. The link tells us about these unfortunate people.

Latest death toll 99. :(

I’m having trouble with the link. Were they tour guides?
 

TOADS

Toad whisperer.....
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In addition to teams going in to assist the people who were burned out, there are also teams going in to take care of the needs of the animals.

There is even a team that is working on saving the Banyan tree which is a living symbol of Lahaina. Reminds me of the tree they rescued from ground zero at the WTC that is now part of the living memorial there.
 
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sk8pics

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Another good charity that is already bringing aid to Maui is World Central Kitchen. This is the organization headed by Chef José Andrés. So far, they've been bringing food and meals to the first responders and to houses that are sheltering dozens of people who have lost everything. I donated to them when they were setting kitchens up in Ukraine.
Thanks for this reminder. A friend of mine works for WCK and is in Ukraine roughly once a month. They typically try to be first on the scene and then when other orgs come in, WCK lets them handle relief efforts and they move on to the next disaster. I would imagine they're still on Maui. (Ukraine has been an exception, and they're still on site more than a year later.)
 

Cachoo

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I guess I have a lot of questions about the warning system in the town. I saw this news feature and it sounds like the man was asleep and woke up and made a quick exit. In other places more used to these fires are there mandatory evacuations?
 

Karen-W

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I guess I have a lot of questions about the warning system in the town. I saw this news feature and it sounds like the man was asleep and woke up and made a quick exit. In other places more used to these fires are there mandatory evacuations?
From what I've heard, it sounds like these fires were pretty far away and then the winds came on VERY suddenly and there was very little time to react. That doesn't excuse someone being asleep instead of keeping watch but, sometimes, it's hard to predict what will happen, especially with wildfires.
 
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barbk

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From what I've heard, it sounds like these fires were pretty far away and then the winds came on VERY suddenly and there was very little time to react. That doesn't excuse someone being asleep instead of keeping watch but, sometimes, it's hard to predict what will happen, especially with wildfires.
We had a huge fire east of us in Boulder County in December 2021. 1,000+ homes were completely destroyed, and many others damaged. Whole neighborhoods were wiped out. Wind (big wind - >100 mph) was also our issue, along with drought.

Initially, there was a little fire north of town. We could see a little smoke, and fire crews raced to it.
Then a small - very small - fire stared near the edge of the foothills south of Boulder. Very little. Cars driving by on the highway noted it.

Within a couple of hours, it was a huge blaze, racing across the grasslands, up and down hills, and roaring through subdivisions. Burning embers were thrown a half mile or more across the turnpike, sparking new fires. Evacuations were called, and fire crews and police raced around trying to stay ahead of the flames, but there was no stopping the fires. By this time, many fires. Helicopters and firefighting planes couldn't fly due to the massive winds. We were incredibly, unbelievably lucky that only two people lost their lives in this fire, though many pets also died. The speed with which the fire moved was unbelievable.

When you have hurricane-force winds, there is little that is going to stop a fire. I have friends who thought they were going to die as they evacuated only to find embers flying overhead on the highway, and the Colorado folks had more evacuation routes than the folks on Maui.

And the eventual cause was attributed to a combination of a downed power line (sound familiar?) and a previous burn site where the dirt-covered embers apparently became uncovered in the wind. Losses were estimated as north of $2 billion. I don't know anyone who had sufficient insurance coverage.


The folks in Maui have my sincere sympathy. It will be a long, painful road, and many will leave either out of discouragement or economic reality. It is truly terrible.
 

CantALoop

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I guess I have a lot of questions about the warning system in the town.
Yup, and a lot of other people have questions about why the All-Hazard Statewide Outdoor Warning Siren System was not activated.

There was a press conference today where the head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency defended his decision not to sound the alarms:
Maui Emergency Chief Defends Decision Not To Activate Warning Sirens

The head administrator Andaya was actually on O'ahu when it happened, but the plans and operations officer Coe who was in charge didn't activate the siren system as well.

Their excuse is that it would've caused more confusion but people here are not having it. Someone's head is going to have to roll, like during the North Korean missile false alarm.
 

genevieve

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From what I've heard, it sounds like these fires were pretty far away and then the winds came on VERY suddenly and there was very little time to react. That doesn't excuse someone being asleep instead of keeping watch but, sometimes, it's hard to predict what will happen, especially with wildfires.
The man in the video (who was asleep) was not part of the watch system; he was just a guy who woke up to flames and happened to record it on his way out. The warning system question is why there wasn't something in place to wake him up, rather than his being woken by smoke and heat.

Those images are horrifying.
 

CantALoop

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Additionally, the All-Hazard Statewide Outdoor Warning Siren System is tested monthly statewide at 11:45 am every first business day of the month, and TV and radio notifications also announce the testing. It goes off for not just tsunamis, but also hurricanes, flash flooding, and sometimes high winds.

Of course, according to the Maui Emergency Management Agency, something like a rapidly-spreading conflagration doesn't warrant activating such a system 🤬
 

TOADS

Toad whisperer.....
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I am getting a little upset by the government response to this disaster.

It seems to me they could be flying in aid to Kahului and trucking it to Lahaina or using the coast guard and Navy to bring supplies by sea and unloading into smaller vessels to take into Lahaina harbor.

From what I am seeing in the news, it seems Maui is going it alone. A lot of the people are saying where is the help…

Maybe I am just cranky but overall help seems very slow…
 

Vash01

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Additionally, the All-Hazard Statewide Outdoor Warning Siren System is tested monthly statewide at 11:45 am every first business day of the month, and TV and radio notifications also announce the testing. It goes off for not just tsunamis, but also hurricanes, flash flooding, and sometimes high winds.

Of course, according to the Maui Emergency Management Agency, something like a rapidly-spreading conflagration doesn't warrant activating such a system 🤬
They have a lot of explaining to do. When it comes to any kind of disaster it is always better to err on the side of caution. I find it unconscionable that they did not activate the warning. So many people lost their lives! There was no way to save the buildings, homes but at least the warning could have saved some lives.
 
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Cachoo

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Yup, and a lot of other people have questions about why the All-Hazard Statewide Outdoor Warning Siren System was not activated.

There was a press conference today where the head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency defended his decision not to sound the alarms:
Maui Emergency Chief Defends Decision Not To Activate Warning Sirens

The head administrator Andaya was actually on O'ahu when it happened, but the plans and operations officer Coe who was in charge didn't activate the siren system as well.

Their excuse is that it would've caused more confusion but people here are not having it. Someone's head is going to have to roll, like during the North Korean missile false alarm.
It sounds like these people were also caught by surprise: https://youtu.be/F3oXksiF36A
 

TOADS

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In all honesty, I don’t think the federal government has any set protocols for major disasters.

The only comprehensive program I have seen is the drill that Washington and Oregon have every year for the potential Cascadia event. My brother who lives on Bainbridge island says the drill involves all levels of government.

I don’t think the government has a plan for the what the response would be in event of a super Cat 5 hurricane hitting a city like Miami or New Orleans.

I wonder what the response is going to be for the potential torrential rainfall event in the southwest this weekend?
 

skategal

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Apparently people in one town in Canada are being told to get out NOW: https://youtu.be/3uy7n7dMg-I
They are doing the right thing.

I think they learned from the NS experience.

They were too late here warning the first groups of people to get out.

Many had to flee through the flames.

We were unbelievably lucky no one was
killed here.

The story is that no one was killed because a group of roofers working saw the fire coming and went door to door warning everyone to leave immediately.

Then everyone else started warning their friends and neighbours in the area to leave.

This happened well before any evacuation notice was put out saving many lives.
 

Cachoo

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They are doing the right thing.

I think they learned from the NS experience.

They were too late here warning the first groups of people to get out.

Many had to flee through the flames.

We were unbelievably lucky no one was
killed here.

The story is that no one was killed because a group of roofers working saw the fire coming and went door to door warning everyone to leave immediately.

Then everyone else started warning their friends and neighbours in the area to leave.

This happened well before any evacuation notice was put out saving many lives.
Heroes.
 

Cachoo

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10,923
I am getting a little upset by the government response to this disaster.

It seems to me they could be flying in aid to Kahului and trucking it to Lahaina or using the coast guard and Navy to bring supplies by sea and unloading into smaller vessels to take into Lahaina harbor.

From what I am seeing in the news, it seems Maui is going it alone. A lot of the people are saying where is the help…

Maybe I am just cranky but overall help seems very slow…
FEMA opened their first center only yesterday and I guess the Navy is helping but it seems slow and plodding Something else that really angers me is the phone calls that people who have lost everything are receiving by aggressive real estate developers who want to buy the land they live on. There should be a law against bottom dwellers bothering these people so soon after the calamity.
 

barbk

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In all honesty, I don’t think the federal government has any set protocols for major disasters.

The only comprehensive program I have seen is the drill that Washington and Oregon have every year for the potential Cascadia event. My brother who lives on Bainbridge island says the drill involves all levels of government.

I don’t think the government has a plan for the what the response would be in event of a super Cat 5 hurricane hitting a city like Miami or New Orleans.

I wonder what the response is going to be for the potential torrential rainfall event in the southwest this weekend?
It is state disaster management that is supposed to have plans in place since so much depends on geography. The Feds are not intended to be first responders. They're good at supplying $$, but not so much in terms of surging supplies.
 

Jay42

Between the click of the light
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They are doing the right thing.

I think they learned from the NS experience.

They were too late here warning the first groups of people to get out.

Many had to flee through the flames.

We were unbelievably lucky no one was
killed here.

The story is that no one was killed because a group of roofers working saw the fire coming and went door to door warning everyone to leave immediately.

Then everyone else started warning their friends and neighbours in the area to leave.

This happened well before any evacuation notice was put out saving many lives.
I think too the memory of Fort McMurray in 2016 is still pretty strong, especially for people in northern Alberta and NWT. Fort Mac and Yellowknife have similar issues with road access so getting Yellowknife evacuated before the fire gets too close was definitely the smart thing to do.
 

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