On this bright and beautiful Friday morning in March, I want to take this opportunity to say a tremendous thank you to several of our campus community members that shepherded our campus through last night’s tsunami warning. My sincere and deep mahalo goes out to Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Gary Nitta who came to campus about 10 pm and stayed until about 8 am today to make sure evacuees who came
here were safe and secure. Assisting him were Pat Watase and campus security. Pat came in to assist Gary and stayed until morning. I apologize for not knowing who from security was on duty but that makes my thanks no less sincere! Also, Vice Chancellor for Student Services Earl Nishiguchi sent an email to all of our students and posted signs on campus informing them of the campus closure today. Faculty members Brian Yamamoto and Dennis Chun made sure that all of our exchange students from Toyama, Japan were evacuated quickly and effectively. Dennis hosted them in his home until they could return to their hotel rooms this morning.
We were fortunate that this event did not have any dire consequences for us here on Kaua‘i, but it could have, and the way in which our team worked together was outstanding. Interestingly enough, just yesterday we had a tabletalk exercise to practice how we would handle a campus emergency. It was gratifying both then and in the situation last night to see how KCC employees are willing to pull together, remain calm and do what needs to be done. Our response, coupled with the work done at the county and state level was effective.
I look forward to having the campus open again tomorrow, and I encourage us all to keep in our thoughts and prayers all those in Japan whose lives have been impacted.