"I will tell you it's been a very frustrating experience," said Aloha United Way COO Norm Baker.
He was one of several speakers on Friday, as emergency personnel, as well as non-profits, businesses and lawmakers gathered in the hopes of molding a bigger and better plan for dealing with disasters.
"It's just a matter of sitting down and agreeing on how it's going to happen," said Baker.
Civil defense already has about $16 million, two-thirds of what it needs in funds, to update sirens statewide.
A cell phone and satellite system has already begun replacing the older radio signal.
"It will make the sirens more reliable, number two, we'll know through feedback when the sirens go down so we can fix it immediately," Doug Mayne, Civil Defense Vice-Director.
And, starting early next year they'll begin replacing all 371 sirens, termite-eaten poles and all, then adding 146 more.
He said they also plan on relying much more heavily on technology such as cell phones.
"I'd like to invite people here who want to learn to attend free," said Dave Kozuki, who is a consultant who trains first responders on using social media for emergencies.
The city web designers are also building an app that displays evacuation zones and the Honolulu Police Department is requiring its officers to use its online notification system "Nixle."