JUNE 1 IS THE FIRST DAY OF HURRICANE SEASON . This year , Wilcox Medical Center is better prepared than ever because of a $ 13 million purchase of three emergency generators . The critical project was powered by a surge of state , county and community support and inspired by a donor with 30 years of experience in construction .
Kurt Last has a history of giving to Hawai ‘ i Pacific Health ( HPH ) in appreciation of the care he ‘ s received . But his knowledge of catastrophe preparation has been worth millions . Kurt , who has been visiting Kaua ‘ i since the ‘ 80s , vividly remembers the devastation he witnessed after
LEFT TO RIGHT : Troy Branstetter , Wilcox director of facilities management ; Raymond Valle , Wilcox supervisor of facilities management ; and Roland Resurreccion , project manager for HPH Design and
Hurricane Iniki hit . “ Houses were gone and there were just foundations there ,“ Kurt said . “ It was hard to look at but what I was most interested in was the fact that something like 2,000 telephone poles were knocked down and parts of the island were without power for 15 weeks .“
So when Wilcox needed new generators , Kurt drew on his decades managing facility engineering and operations and recommended HPH apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ). He was so energized by the idea , that Kurt researched grant information ,