PRiMO Conference

About the Conference

The Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana (PRiMO) conference is the premier venue for community leaders interested in protecting Pacific Island communities from natural hazards. Each year, hundreds of participants gather to make connections, learn from each other, discuss ongoing initiatives, and design action plans.

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The diverse group of attendees includes heads of state, representatives from business, nonprofits, and environmental groups, and concerned citizens. Topics range from water quality to disaster management and economic sustainability. This diversity and collaborative focus is what makes PRiMO work. People and organizations must work together if communities are to become more resilient. The action plans must be far reaching if Pacific Island natural resources, quality of life, infrastructure, homes, economic framework, and citizen health and safety are to be preserved. This is a tall task that requires inhabitants of the region to work and learn together. PRiMO provides that opportunity.

PRiMO conferences offer at least 25 different sessions, many led by distinguished leaders and innovators. Field trips and preconference training sessions provide opportunities to increase professional skills and gain firsthand knowledge about active hazard-reduction activities. Participants return to their organizations with new skills, information, ideas, contacts, partners, and perspectives. They leave better equipped to find the creative solutions today's coastal hazard challenges require.

Each conference has a community resilience-focused theme. Attendees are encouraged to submit an abstract, for it is through sharing with one another that we all become stronger!

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2020 Conference

The Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana (PRiMO) 2020 Conference
March 10 to 13, 2020
Hawaii Convention Center
Honolulu, Hawaii

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2020 Theme: Building a Resilient Pacific

Pacific Islands are not only connected by our ocean geography, ocean resources, and cultures, but also by our shared risks. The impacts of typhoons, tsunamis, rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, and ocean acidification are both local and regional. PRiMO’s 2020 conference is meant to strengthen collective action toward building resilience across the region. We will reflect on our individual and collective ability to recover from and cope with recent impacts. We will explore solutions to better prepare for future events in ways that leverage advances in science and technology and that reflect the culture and values of the Pacific.

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2020 Call for Proposals

Call for Session Proposals now open! Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, November 12th, 2019.

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2019 Meeting

Weaving a Path to “Precovery” in American Samoa
Faufauina se alafua mo le toe faaleleia o Amerika Samoa

September 24 to 25, 2019
American Samoa Community College

“Precovery” is the process of preparing for recovery in advance in order to speed the return to normalcy. Precovery planning accounts for short-term recovery measures while ensuring that long-term recovery results in reduced risk, enhanced economic opportunity, and improved personal and ecological health. The purpose of this meeting will be to work collaboratively to identify pathways to our collective preparedness for future recovery efforts in American Samoa. Participants from Guam, CNMI, and Hawai‘i will contribute to the process.

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September 23, 2019 Pre-Meeting Trainings
  8:00 a.m. – Noon Natural Disaster Awareness for Caregivers View flyer
  1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Disaster Resilience for Small Business and Organizations View flyer
  1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Media Training for Students
  8:00 a.m. – Noon Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings View flyer
  1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Prevention and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents View flyer
September 24, 2019
  7:00 – 8:15 a.m. Ava Ceremony (Suigaula o le Atuvasa)
  8:15 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
  9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Welcoming Session
  9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Plenary Panel: Pre-Disaster Recovery and Recovery Experience after Tropical Storm Gita – Chuck Heltsley (FEMA), Lt. Governor Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga, American Samoa
  10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Group Photo and Morning Tea
  11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Panel of Village Mayors (Leone Village, Pago Pago Village, Fagasā Village)
  12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch, Cultural Performance by American Samoa Community College Students
  12:45 – 1:45 p.m. Lunchtime Keynote Address: Dr. Konia Freitas (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa), Indigenous Planning and Island Resilience
  2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Breakout Session Discussions
  3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea
  3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Breakout Session Discussions
  4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Discussion on Breakout Session
  6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Opening Reception and Awards
September 25, 2019
  8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
  9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Honorable Togiola T.A. Tulafono
  10:15 – 10:45 a.m. Morning Tea
  10:45 a.m. – Noon Breakout Session Discussions
  Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
  12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch Speaker: Local and Federal Joint Presentation on Tsunamis (National Weather Service, American Samoa Department of Homeland Security)
  1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Synthesizing and Cross-Function Discussions, Report-Out
  2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Closing Plenary Panel: Women Resilience Leaders – Tafaimamao Tua-Tupuola (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities), Andrea Samoa (Representative), Marian McGuire (American Samoa EPA)

September 26, 2019 (Optional – Excursion or PacWave Exercise)
If you are coming from off island, we invite you to join one of two optional morning activities:

  • Participate in the PacWave full-scale tsunami evacuation exercise
  • Participate in an excursion focusing on coastal hazards and flooding

For more information, contact Tina Lee at

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