The Oct. 28 edition of The Maui News highlighted the quote, "It's beginning to look like the evacuation may not have been necessary."
Unfortunately, the comment was based on 20/20 hindsight, which is only valuable the day after. Decisions can only be based on the best information available while relying on a system established to alert the community and visitors.
Residents become so undaunted to the watches and warnings not resulting in disaster they become complacent in favor of their favorite TV show. Visitors, on the other hand, see the word tsunami and it triggers images of Japan and Thailand's tsunami disasters. Those images cause anxieties to peak.
Maui County agencies work diligently and responsibly to improve the island's emergency evacuation system to guarantee our safety. Those efforts focus on guiding the public to safety in a calm manner. County officials have initiated three tsunami evacuations on this island over the last four years.
We all realize living here exposes us to a variety of common disasters. For your safety, peace of mind and for the safety of emergency personnel, create a family evacuation plan and evacuate to safety when alerts are sounded. If you don't know how to begin, contact Civil Defense or the Red Cross for assistance.
Why, nothing ever happens? It is infinitely better to err on the side of caution and endure a few hours of inconvenience than to lose even one life because the county's reaction - or yours - was based on previous outcomes.