"Take a deep breath and understand we are on this on a daily basis," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
With that, the governor announced a plan to assemble a sequestration response team drawing from the private and public sector to deal with the expected cuts.
Abercrombie met with members of the Pacific Command Thursday night.
He said the Department of Defense plans to send out furlough notices to 19,000 civilian workers on March 19.
The furloughs, of two days every two weeks, are to run from April to September and will mean a loss of $138 million in spending from our local economy.
“I think it will affect local business. It will obviously affect donations to local charities and those who support local non- profit organizations," said Abercrombie.
Outside the Capitol today, the governor was on hand when hundreds of seniors rallied for support the Meals on Wheels program which feeds 600 seniors, is 60-percent federally funded.
The rest comes from the state.
“It is such an uncertain time and we are very apprehensive because we don;t know how it will affect us being able to provide meals for seniors," said Lynn Moku, of the Meals and Wheels program
The governor plans to tap a $25 million contingency fund in the budget over a two-year period to make up for the losses just in state government.
State budget chief Kalbert Young said department heads will have until next week Wednesday to come up with their lists.
It may take about a week and a half to decide who should get part of that 25 million dollars.
But Friday, he even warned, don't count on full bailout.
"Make no mistake, it is not presumed that every program that loses federal funds will be able to be accommodated at their current level. That is not an assumption of the $25 million," said Young.