Hawaii faces many threats - and the residents of the islands have to prepare themselves for whatever the sea or the sky throws their way. Remember to do your research before visiting any of Hawaii's islands - know whether you may find yourself in the middle of hurricane season or not.
Everyone in Hawaii will remember the false missile alert of 2018 - the morning of January 13 the residents of Hawaii woke to an emergency alert that had been sent to every cell phone in the state. The alert warned of incoming missiles - thankfully it was a false alarm, and the people of Hawaii were never in any danger.
But false alerts aren't the only emergency that Hawaii has faced; common natural disasters include hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, vog, and earthquakes.
It can be overwhelming to prepare for so many emergencies at a time - but have no fear! Thousands of people ready themselves for natural disasters such as these every day.
Though it may seem like a lot to prepare for, it's actually very easy to prepare yourself and your family for anything - from as small as a hurricane to as big as a volcanic eruption. The key is to educate yourself, and have emergency kits ready before disaster strikes.
A hurricane's seriousness can range from a glorified thunderstorm to a catastrophic phenomenon. When a storm forms over the sea, it will become more and more powerful - eventually moving over the land.
The severity of the storm can depend on the category - but no matter the Cat, it's still wise to have an emergency kit.
Hurricanes can be very easy to prepare for. Since there will typically be a lot of time between the initial warning and the storm itself, you will have plenty of time to ready your home and make sure your emergency kit is up to date.
There are currently three active volcanoes on Hawaii's Big Island; Maunaloa, Hualālai, and Kīlauea - and while beautiful parts of the island, they still pose a threat to homes and residents. But how can you prepare for a volcanic eruption?
The best way to prepare for a volcanic eruption is to pay attention, and understand that you may need to evacuate your home at any moment. Have emergency kits ready for each member of your family, and keep them somewhere accessible for those moments where time is of the essence.
Vog is volcanic smog made up of water vapor, hydrogen, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and various other acids that make their way out of volcanic vents and into the air. You will have to worry about vog during and after volcanic eruptions.
Thankfully, it's easy to be ready for vog. Wear masks to protect your lungs and throat from vog and its harmful effects - if you or someone you know has asthma or another respiratory problem, know that they are at a greater risk. Keep an emergency kit at the ready.
Tsunamis are another threat that comes from the ocean - huge waves can rise up to fifty feet in height, crashing over cities and communities, washing away the livelihoods of countless citizens.
Thankfully, while terrifying, it is simple to prepare for tsunamis. The key is to stay calm when you are under threat, know how to get to high ground quickly, and keep an emergency kit at the ready in an easy to carry bag.
Make sure your emergency kit isn't too heavy to carry on your own.
Earthquakes are the most common natural disaster to occur in the United States. Plates beneath the ground shift and cause the ground to shake, which can level buildings and disrupt daily life.
Before the ground begins to shake, it's important to prepare now. Know what to do and where to go, as well as how to survive if you find yourself in the terrifying situation of being buried beneath rubble. Have a smaller emergency kit on hand just in case.
Hawaii is full of amazing sights, beautiful culture, and rich food - but that doesn't mean it isn't just as deadly as any other area. It comes with its own set of dangers, as any tropical island does.
Whether you live there or you're simply vacationing, remember to have respect for the land around you, and be ready for whatever could come your way. Keep your wits and your kits about you, and be ready to get your family to safety.
No matter the time of year or time of day, it's never too late to get started on building your own emergency kit today. You can even get your kids involved and turn building an emergency kit into a game. No matter what you're packing, it's best to get started as soon as possible.
Emergency Plan (ready.gov)
Emergency Contact Info (ready.gov)
Emergency Plan for Schools (ready.gov)
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