"Confusion is our enemy here, and information is our best tool," said Bob Collins, who is heading a team of consultants, planners, and engineers to create a better evacuation strategy.
The need for that couldn't have been more evident on October 27, 2012.
During Hawaii's latest tsunami scare, sirens didn't work, evacuation zones were unclear, and the confusion that ensued turned roadways into parking lots.
"There is no single silver bullet that will solve all the questions," said Dept. of Emergency Management Director Melvin Kaku.
So, the city has launched a program to clearly define the most high-risk communities, there are eight so far, the worst routes, Kamehameha and Farrington, and then find better ways to get people to safety.
"Once we've gotten them onto the road way, if we don't tell them where to go, quickly and efficiently we're just creating a lot of confusion," said Collins.
The city is taking up a signage system already in use on Hawaii County, that clearly shows where evacuation zones start and end, and then which way to go.
Those high-risk communities say it's about time.
"What's exciting is the rubber is finally hitting the road, because we've been barking to get some city involvement for some 3 plus years," said Jay Oku, who is with the North Shore Disaster Planning Committee.