Kuti Hoonah Workshop, Planning for Disaster Expo

Planning for Disaster Session

October 21, 2023 the Central council crew Lindsey Pierce and Cer Scott traveled to Hoonah the co host a planning for disasters community event with Hoonah Indian Association. In attendance were representatives from Hoonah public safety departments Police, Fire, EMS, also community members and Kuti project members. Key take always from the pizza fuel discussions was that the Hoonah community is very interested in preparing for disasters, and would like to know a lot more about the city’s disaster plan, and community planning sessions. All in attendance received swag dry bags filled with survival essentials, and a NOAA weather alert capable radios.

Kuti Hoonah Workshop

Attendance: HIA Environmental Department, Tribal Staff, High School Students, Hoonah Economic Development are joined by: Dr. Annette Patton (SSSC Lead Geoscientist, Project Manager), Dr. Deanna Nash (Atmospheric Science Lead), Dr. Robert Lempert (Risk Management, Social Science Lead), Dr. Gordon Grant (Hydrology Lead), D. Josh Roering (Geomorphology Lead), Lindsey Pierce (CCTHITA Environmental Coordinator), Cer Scott (CCTHITA Environmental Coordinator), Jacyn Schmidt (CCTHITA Regional Geoscience Specialist)

Overview created from notes taken during workshop by Kuti Team. October 22, 2023, for the past year HIA has been working with the Kuti Project to develop and eventually implement a land slide/hazardous conditions monitoring/alert system in Hoonah. purpose of this workshop was to discuss existing understanding of geohazards and risk reduction needs. The goals of the workshop were to:

  1. Introduce the community to our project and team members
  2. Discuss: what is the best way to work together to select research strategies?

Members of the Ḵutí research team presented on preliminary understanding of geohazards near Klukwan, including a description of Atmospheric Rivers (ARs), rain-induced landslide process and analytical tools, and hydrologic character of the closest gauged river (Greens Creek). The social science team also introduced the “mental models” methodology and its potential uses in this project.

We also discussed community perspectives on primary hazards of concern, examples of hazardous events that have impacted residents in the past, and priorities for hazards-related research.

Some priorities identified in this workshop included

  • Developing/improving an AR “scale” that better indicates potential impacts to Hoonah
  • Landslide warning/situational awareness for users of the road network
  • Flood impacts to infrastructure and habitat associated with blocked culverts
  • Improved understanding of landslide impacts to residential areas and river habitats
  • Building disaster-related messages that use reliable means of communication during hazards (cell and internet service is limited and unreliable). Possible alternatives include radio and/or physical signs/alert boards on the road network

Next steps include working with HIA partners to propose research objectives and strategies.

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