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The Pa'auilo CERT TEAM

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) were created by FEMA years ago when it became clear that local people who knew the area were the best “boots on the ground” for responding to the initial phases of a disaster.

CERT Photo 1.jpg
  • CERT training is a four-day program and teaches simple elements of first aid, search and rescue, hazard recognition, and emergency communications. 

  • Every so often we run exercises (simulated pregnant woman with a broken leg in a collapsed building, shown at right).

  • Our CERT meets periodically to keep on top of evolving developments in emergency response actions, and has activated several times for local emergencies.  No major disasters have hit our area, fortunately… but… time will tell.

  • State organizations (in our case Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency) conduct training of CERT members and administer the program.

  • Our Paauilo CERT (some members shown at left) was formed in 2011.

  • A current effort involves setting up emergency communications capability via ham radio, in the event that a hurricane wipes out landlines, cell towers and internet (like Hurricane Maria did to Puerto Rico several years ago).

  • There are quite a few ham operators in the Pa'auilo area, and they have kindly volunteered to help in an emergency (not as a CERT function but as important collateral support).

  • Through various radio linkages, most of these hams now have the capability to send and receive emergency messages, and even to contact Civil Defense in Hilo or organizations on the mainland via an internet radio gateway (shown at left).


If being a part of Pa'auilo's CERT team appeals to you, give CERT's leader, Denning Powell, a call at

808 775-1935.

In a disaster, our community will appreciate having your help.

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