UH West O‘ahu faculty to develop disaster preparedness solutions for Hawaiʻi-based businesses

$1.6 million grant to create the first Hawaiʻi Business Recovery Center in state of Hawaiʻ

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Leila S W Shimokawa, (808) 689-2603
Director, Communications
Posted: Oct 18, 2016

KAPOLEI --- University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu Associate Professor Jason Levy is serving as the principal investigator on a two-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to promote business resilience and public-private sector partnerships in Hawaiʻi.

Dr. Levy is teaming with Dr. Ross Prizzia, professor of public administration and director of disaster preparedness and emergency management programs at UH West Oʻahu, to develop timely and valuable solutions for business continuity planning and disaster management. The proposal involves the planning and development of a Business Recovery Center in Hawaiʻi to enhance disaster preparedness and create a robust business resilience network that strives for best disaster management practices and continuous improvement.

“The state of Hawai‘i has urgent needs for both pre-disaster business continuity planning and post-disaster recovery actions due to its location, topography, and demographics. As the most isolated population center in the world, transportation travel times and import costs to Hawaiʻi are significant. As well, Hawai‘i is exposed to a wide range of natural, health-related, and intentional threats (from hurricanes and tsunamis to active volcanoes and emerging infectious diseases),” Dr. Levy said.

Through this disaster resilience grant, Dr. Levy and Dr. Prizzia are working with government organizations and the private sector, as well as voluntary, faith-based, and community stakeholders active in disaster management. Their disaster resilience work includes developing a business recovery center annex to the State’s Emergency Operations Plan and Standard Operating Guide, including identifying and sizing emergency communications requirements to permit continuity of operations, as well as developing, coordinating, and performing industry outreach, training, and exercises to support the disaster response and recovery capacity of large and small businesses in Hawaiʻi.


Established in 1976, the University of Hawaiʻi - West O‘ahu is an indigenous-serving institution that offers quality education, small class sizes, and personalized attention. UH West O‘ahu has the newest bachelor's degree-granting campus in the University of Hawaiʻi System, serving nearly 3,000 students with academic programs that emphasize interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies. UH West Oʻahu commemorates its 40th anniversary in 2016. For more information, visit www.uhwo.hawaii.edu, call (808) 689-2800 or toll-free (866) 299-8656. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.