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Wednesday
Jun132018

FLOOD AWARENESS INFORMATION

Why is the County of Hawaii no longer providing Flood Zone Determinations?

The reason the County of Hawaii is no longer providing Flood Zone Determinations is because the effective Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are now readily available online.  In an effort that took 10+ years, the FEMA FIRMs were finally digitized, updated, and made effective on 09/29/17.  This incorporated multiple flood mapping studies done around the island.

Where can I view the effective FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)?

There are several locations that the effective FEMA FIRMs are available.  They are:

  •          The State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Flood Hazard Assessment Tool (FHAT) website – http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/FHAT/.  We highly recommend that people use the FHAT website as it provides the quickest and easiest way to determine the effective FEMA flood zone.   A tutorial on the FHAT is available at http://dlnreng.hawaii.gov/nfip/floodmaps/.  Interested people will be able search a given property by location address or Tax Map Key.  Individual property flood reports can be downloaded and they contain all the information necessary for insurance purposes. 
  •          The County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works, Engineering Division office.  The hardcopy maps are available at our office.

Where can I view flood mapping studies which are not shown on the effective FEMA FIRM?

In addition to the effective FEMA FIRM, the County of Hawaii has several flood studies which have not yet been submitted to FEMA or are still in the FEMA review process.  Click here to view the list of properties designated within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) flood zone (zone A, AE, AH, AO, V, or VE) on any of these flood studies.  They are listed by Tax Map Key (TMK) and SFHA Flood Zone.  Because our Tax Map Key parcel layer is not entirely accurate, we have included a list which incorporates a 50’ buffer around the SFHA flood zone.  The statuses of these flood studies are shown below:

  •        Puna Flood Study – The Puna Flood Study covers It was intended to have been submitted to FEMA in 2015 as a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), however the County has postponed submission at this time.  This study falls under the County Advisory Flood Study Policy.  Therefore, this study shall be used for informational purposes only.  The properties affected by this study can be viewed in the above stated link.
  •         Keopu-Hienaloli Flood Study – The Keopu – Hienaloli Flood Study is located in the Kailua – Kona area and covers approximately 15 square miles.  This proposed flood study incorporated two main streams (Keopu and Hienaloli), extending about 4 miles upstream of Kailua Bay.  Currently, the area of study has effective FEMA FIRMs, so should this study be approved by FEMA, it would revise that section of the FIRM.  It was intended to have been submitted to FEMA in 2015 as a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), however the County has postponed submission at this time.  This study falls under the County Advisory Flood Study Policy.  Therefore, this study shall be used for informational purposes only.  The properties affected by this study can be viewed in the above stated link.  The Keopu – Hienaloli Flood Study
  •          Waiakea Flood Study (LOMR Case No. 17-09-1339P) – The Waiakea Flood Study is located in Hilo and includes the Waiakea and Upper Palai Streams.  This flood study was submitted to FEMA as a LOMR in March 2015.  There was a delay in FEMA’s review process due to the island-wide FIRM update which took effect on 09/29/17.  On 10/24/17, we were informed by FEMA that this LOMR was approved.  On 11/29/17, FEMA issued a LOMR Determination Document Letter which established that this LOMR will become effective on 04/12/2018.  Click here for the LOMR Determination Document.  The annotated FIRM is shown at the end of this document.  Since the issuance of the LOMR Determination Document, we have been regulating floodplain development with both this LOMR and the effective FIRM taken into consideration.The properties affected by this study can be viewed in the above stated link. 

In addition, there are four FEMA map revisions (2 Conditional Letter of Map Revisions (CLOMRs) and 2 LOMRs) that are currently in the FEMA review process, however they are not the same as the above stated flood studies.  The majority of these CLOMR and LOMR requests are done as part of a proposed subdivision, for a Federal or County flood control project improvement, or on behalf of an individual property owner.  Often times, the affected property owners are already aware of the FEMA map revision request prior to its submission to FEMA.  The affected property owners for the four FEMA map revisions currently under review were already been notified.  Below is the project name and case number of each of these FEMA map revisions.

CLOMRs in FEMA review

  •          Alii Drive Culvert – CLOMR Case No. 18-09-0316R
  •          Hilo Senior Living – CLOMR Case No. 17-09-0389R

LOMRs in FEMA review

  •          Waimea District Park – LOMR Case No. 17-09-1285P
  •          LOMR request for an individual property – Case No. has not been assigned yet

For more information, please contact Bryce Harada of the Department of Public Works, Engineering Division at (808) 961-8042.

Wednesday
Jun132018

TIPS

Prepare Your Home & Property

  • Protect your home and property by reducing potential flood damage.
  • Build with flooding in mind.
  • Know how to secure your home inside and outside.
  • Take measures to protect equipment and important papers.
  • And consider buying flood insurance.

Secure your home inside and outside

Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.

Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.

FEMA's guide for homeowners, "Protecting Your Home and Property from Flood Damage (PDF)," will help you become familiar with ways to protect your home from flooding.

Safely shutting off utilities

In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home. 

Protect your valuables

Even a few inches of rain can cause extensive damage in your home. Take steps now to protect your valuables.

  • Keep a record of your personal property for insurance purposes.
    • Take photos or a video of the interior and exterior of your home and your most valuable possessions. Include household possessions (including model and serial numbers) and personal belongings in your inventory.
    • Save and store receipts for expensive household items (appliances, electronic equipment, etc.) so that you have proof of original cost.
    • Download the free Household and Personal Property Inventory Book (PDF) from Ready.gov.
  • Store your inventory and documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records, passport, birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, wills, bank and financial information and other important papers in a safety deposit box away from your home. Make copies of important documents for your disaster supplies kit.
  • It is advisable to keep a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks at home in a safe place that you can quickly access in case of evacuation.

Consider buying flood insurance now

Flooding causes more than 90 percent of all disaster-related property damage in the United States but most homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. Because of this, we recommend purchasing flood insurance.

The County of Hawai‘i participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), enabling residents to purchase flood insurance with discounted premiums.

Contact your insurance agent or call NFIP, 1-888-379-9531.

Prepare Yourself & Your Family

Prepare yourself and your family for possible flooding by creating and practicing a family emergency plan and assembling your disaster supplies kit. When you are in areas of heavy rains, tsunami, hurricane or tropical storm surge, you may need to prepare to evacuate or to survive on your own for a period of time.

Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families and individuals should know the warning signs of floods and flash floods and be ready to evacuate their homes, take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.

Begin by reviewing Red Cross guidelines on preparing your family for a flood, creating a family disaster plan and an evacuation plan.

Here are additional online sources to help you assemble a basic emergency supply kit and create an evacuation plan and additional emergency plans for yourself and your family and pets.

Are you ready? FEMA booklet

Safely Shutting Off Utilities

In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home. Below are some general guidelines for shutting off utility service. Modify this information to reflect your utility company's shut-off requirements.

Natural Gas

Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters.

  • All household members should know how to shut off natural gas.
  • Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, contact your local gas company for guidance regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.
  • When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household.
  • Be sure not to turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedure.
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.

CAUTION - If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

Water

Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.

  • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.
  • The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve (not the street valve in the cement box at the curb—this valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool).

Preparing to shut off water:

  • Locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house.
  • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open, or it may only partially close. Replace it if necessary.
  • Label this valve with a tag for easy identification, and make sure all household members know where it is located.

Electricity

Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

Preparing to shut off electricity:

  • Locate your electricity circuit box.
  • Teach all responsible household members how to shut off the electricity to the entire house.

FOR YOUR SAFETY - Always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit breaker.

Source: Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (FEMA, IS-22), pp. 25-28 (PDF 1 MB).

 

Build with Flooding in Mind

You can reduce flood damage by flood proofing, elevating a home or even moving a home out of harm’s way. Know your flood zone and avoid building in a floodplain—any land area that can be inundated by water from any source.

If you must build, fill or otherwise develop in a floodplain, follow County of Hawai‘i floodplain management permit requirements stated in the Hawai‘i County Code Chapter 27. To minimize private losses due to flooding, the code outlines methods and provisions for development, initial construction, diverting floodwaters or altering natural floodplains, stream channels and natural barriers. Additional standards may apply for coastal high hazard areas (see Section 27-23 of Chapter 27).

County Requirements

Obtain the necessary building permits from the Department of Public Works Building Division and follow the Hawai‘i County General Plan and the County Code (see Chapter 5) when building or maintaining property. All development (not just the construction of buildings) in floodplain areas requires County permits.

Elevation Certificates and Supplemental Forms

Hawai‘i County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which requires elevation certificates for all new and substantially improved buildings. 

Along with elevation certificates, the County requires supplemental forms for structures or improvements in Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or within the County's “Buffer Zone.”

  • For additional information on elevation certificates, visit the FEMA website or call the Hawai‘i County Floodplain Manager, 808-961-8327.

Detached Accessory Structures Within Designated Flood Zones

Completion of the Detached Accessory Structure in A Zone requires the applicant to engage a professional before submitting plans. This may cause needless expense and effort if the property is exempt. Please contact the Engineering Division at 961-8327 or email dpweng@co.hawaii.hi.us for additional information.

Resources for Flood Mitigation

FEMA and other organizations offer publications and online information to help you reduce potential flood damage. Detailed information about flood resistant construction techniques is available in the following publications.

Both publications are available at libraries in Hawai‘i County or can be downloaded.  FEMA publications are free.

   Additional Online Resources

  • Wet and Dry flood-proofing information from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Web site.
  • Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage (FEMA 348). This publication is intended to assist developers, architects, engineers, builders, code officials and homeowners to construct with building utility systems that are designed and built so that the buildings can be re-occupied and fully operational as soon as electricity and sewer and water are restored to the neighborhood.
  • FEMA’s Protect Your Property from Flooding is a series of eight publications with topics ranging from inspecting and maintaining the building to installing protective devices.
  • University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has reminders to elevate main breakers, waterproof exterior walls, anchor water tanks and clear debris from storm drains and gutters.

Report illegal floodplain development to Department of Public Works at 808-961-8327.

Resources to help you prepare for floods

Publications

  • Family Communications Plan Your family may not be together when an emergency strikes, and it is important to plan a safe place to meet, how to contact each other, how you will get together, and what to do in different situations. 

 

 

Online preparedness resources

Selecting A Contractor/Consultant

If you have suffered disaster related damage to your home or business that needs cleaning and repairs, be careful when hiring contractors.  Sadly, in disaster situations, there are unscrupulous individuals ready to take advantage of the misfortunes of others.  However, recovery from damage can be a positive experience if you take your time, talk to building and floodplain officials, and carefully select a contractor.  The following are some suggestion to help you select a contractor/consultant:

 

1. USE RELIABLE LICENSED CONTRACTORS AND HIRE LOCAL CONTRACTORS IF POSSIBLE

To see if a contractor is properly licensed or has any outstanding complaints, get the contractor's name and license number and contact State of Hawai‘i, Department of Consumer Affairs by calling (808) 587-3222, or online at:

To Verify Registration/License: http://cca.hawaii.gov/rico/licensedcontractor/
File a Complaint: http://cca.hawaii.gov/rico/forms/

2. KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN SPEND

Fix your budget in advance and keep some in reserve to pay for changes or unanticipated costs.

3. SHOP AROUND AND ASK FOR REFERENCES

Get at least 3 bids or estimates. Make sure the bids are all based on the same work and the same materials.  If bid amounts vary significantly, ask why.  Call trade organizations or ask friends or relatives for referrals. Ask to see other projects the contractor has completed and to meet other clients.

4. MAKE SURE YOUR PROJECT IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH CITY AND COUNTY CODES

If a building permit is required, ask the contractor who will be responsible for the permitting process. Know the risks and responsibilities of an “owner-builder” project.

5. ASK FOR A WRITTEN CONTRACT

Read the fine print and compare several competing services and prices before settling on one contractor.  A written contract should include the contractor’s license number, price, start and stop date, the work to be performed and the materials to be used.    Be sure to identify all tasks to be performed in great detail, all associated costs, payment schedule, and who applies for necessary permits and licenses.  You may want to have a lawyer review the contract if substantial cost is involved. Be sure to keep a copy of the signed contract.

6. GET ANY PROMISES, GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES IN WRITING

The guarantee of work should state what is guaranteed, who is responsible and how long the guarantee is valid.

7. KNOW WHO YOUR SUBCONTRACTORS ARE

Have your contractor provide a list of subcontractors to be used on your project and verify that they are properly licensed and have no outstanding complaints against them.

8. BE ALERT AND NEVER SIGN A BLANK CONTRACT

If you are offered a price that is far less than other bids received, it may be too good to be true.  Never sign a blank contract!

9. PAY AS YOU GO AND PAY BY CHECK

Your contract should contain a payment schedule that follows the amount of work completed.  Avoid paying all of the money up front or on-the-spot cash payments. It is best to write a check to the company. Thirty percent of the total cost is a reasonable down payment. If a contractor insists on an advance payment for materials, make the check out to the supplier, or to both the supplier and the contractor.

10. GET PROOF OF INSURANCE AND BONDING

Confirm your contractor carries general liability, workers' compensation insurance and is bonded.

11. AVOID LIENS

Request partial lien releases for partial payments and a final lien release for final payments.

12. MONITOR THE WORK AND KEEP GOOD RECORDS

Keep a file with the contract, cancelled checks and correspondence. Make sure any change orders are in writing.  Have work inspected before it is buried or hidden (e.g., sewers or below grade walls).

13. AT THE END OF THE PROJECT, DO A THOROUGH “WALK-THROUGH” AND TAKE CARE OF ANY “PUNCH LIST” ITEMS IMMEDIATELY

 

14. DON'T MAKE FINAL PAYMENT UNTIL THE WORK IS DONE TO YOUR SATISFACTION

To ensure that no one who supplied materials can put a lien on your home because the contractor did not pay them, obtain a final lien release prior to final payments and make sure a notice of completion is published in a newspaper.

Persons who are having problems with a contractor or who suspect fraud are urged to contact:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
345 Kekuanaoa St., Room 12
Hilo, HI 96720-4388
808-933-8846


Kona Office
75-170 Hualalai Rd. Room C-3-09
Kailua-Kona, Hi 96740
808-327-9590

www.hawaii.gov/dcca/rico

 

Wednesday
Jun132018

Hurricanes

Hurricanes

Hurricanes, though rare in Hawai‘i, are violent storms that bring intense winds, heavy rain, a storm surge, floods, and coastal erosion. While it is difficult to predict the exact time, place, and force of hurricanes, the season for hurricanes is June through November.

The FEMA Hurricane Fact Sheet (PDF) outlines the following steps for hurricane preparedness.

Know Your Risk and What To Do

  • Contact the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency to learn about evacuation routes and emergency plans.
  • Get additional information on hurricane preparedness from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Hurricane Preparedness Guide, Citizen’s Corps, the American Red Cross and NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
  • Buy flood insurance. Anyone can get flooded, even if you don’t live in a designated flood zone. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. There is a 30-day waiting period before activation of flood insurance policies.  Ask your insurance agent or go to FloodSmart.gov, the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Inquire about emergency plans and procedures at your child’s school and at your workplace.
  • Make a family disaster plan that includes out-of-town contacts and locations to reunite if you become separated. Be sure everyone knows home, work and cell phone numbers, and how to call 9-1-1. Review Red Cross guidelines for hurricane preparedness, family disaster plans, and evacuation plans.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit with food, water, medical supplies, battery-powered radio and NOAA Weather Radio, batteries, flashlights, and other items that will allow you to get by for 7 days after a hurricane hits.
  • Gather important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, deeds, and financial and insurance records. Store them in a fire and flood safe location or safe deposit box.

Prepare Your Home Before the Storm

  • Install permanent wooden or metal storm shutters or board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood.
  • Install metal straps or hurricane clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Trim trees and clear rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Plan ahead for protection of pets and livestock.

As the Storm Approaches

  • Remember that a Hurricane Watch means the onset of hurricane conditions is possible within 36 hours; a Hurricane Warning means the onset of hurricane conditions is likely within 24 hours.
  • Have a full tank of gas in a vehicle, cash, and your disaster supplies kit ready to go.
  • Make sure every family member carries or wears identification.
  • Listen to the Civil Defense announcements on the radio or television and NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards for current information and be prepared to act quickly.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to maximum cold and keep closed.
  • Secure your boat or move it to a safer mooring.
  • Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water for bathing, flushing toilets, and cleaning, but do not drink this water.
  • Secure or bring inside such outdoor items as patio furniture, kids’ slides, and power mowers.
  • Turn off propane tanks. Shut off other utilities if emergency officials advise you to do so.
  • Dangerous Hurricane Myth! Tape your windows when a hurricane threatens. The Facts: Taping your windows without shuttering or boarding is a waste of time and energy. It provides little strength to the glass and no protection against flying debris. Once a Hurricane Warning has been issued you should shutter your doors and windows for protection.

Evacuate if You:

  • Are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • Live in a high-rise building, on the coast, a floodplain, near a river, or an inland waterway, or otherwise feel you will be in danger.

If You Are Told to Evacuate:

  • Turn off all utilities if authorities advise you to do so.
  • Don’t delay in evacuating once you get word to leave.
  • Stick to designated evacuation routes. If you need help, this is the most likely place to find it.
  • Take your most reliable vehicle and avoid taking multiple vehicles that create gridlock.

If You Cannot Evacuate and Are Staying In Your Home:

  • Go to a safe indoor place for refuge, such as an interior room, closet, or hallway. Stay downstairs only if you are not in a flood prone or storm surge area.
  • Do not go outdoors during the storm, even in its early stages. Flying debris is extremely dangerous.
  • Close all doors, brace external doors, stay clear of windows and keep curtains and blinds shut.
  • If necessary take cover under a heavy table, or under something protective.
  • Don’t be tricked by a sudden lull in the storm, it may be the “eye” passing over. The storm will resume.

Immediately After the Storm

  • Use extreme caution going out of doors. Be alert for downed power lines, broken glass, and damage to building foundations, streets and bridges, and coastal or hillside erosion.
  • Keep listening to Hawai‘i Civil Defense announcements on radio or TV, or to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.
  • Watch for closed roads. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, Turn Around and Don’t Drown™.
  • Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from power lines.
  • Once home, check gas, water, electrical lines and appliances for damage.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Never use candles or other open flames indoors.
  • When using a generator, avoid electrocution hazards by following manufacturers’ instructions and standard electrical code.
  • Do not drink tap water until you know it is safe.

The Recovery Process

  • Contact the American Red Cross for disaster relief—shelter, food, health and mental health services.
  • List yourself with the Red Cross so family and friends will know that you are safe and well.
  • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the County, State or Federal government and other organizations.
  • If you have property damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Resources to help you prepare for hurricanes

Wednesday
Jun132018

Tsunami

Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves, are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite. A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.

Tsunami hazard zone: In case of earthquake go to high ground or inlandFrom the area where the tsunami originates, waves travel outward in all directions. Once the wave approaches the shore, it builds in height. The topography of the coastline and the ocean floor will influence the size of the wave.

Most tsunamis are generated by earthquake-induced movement of the ocean floor. If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to shore, the first wave in a series could reach the beach in a few minutes, even before a warning is issued. Areas are at greater risk if they are less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the shoreline.

Hawai‘i Island is susceptible to tsunami inundation and high seas. However, 75 per cent of the coastline is predominantly undeveloped cliff area and not subject to property damage from coastal flooding or tsunami inundation. Those areas subject inundation are indicated on the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense tsunami evacuation zone maps.

The FEMA Tsunami Fact Sheet (PDF) outlines the following steps for tsunami preparedness.

Know Your Risk and What to Do

  • Check the front pages of your telephone book for disaster preparation information and tsunami evacuation routes prepared by the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency.
  • Get additional information on tsunami preparedness from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the American Red Cross, and resources listed below.
  • Inquire about emergency plans and procedures at your child’s school, your workplace, and day care, assisted living center or nursing home where a member of your family receives care.
  • Make a family disaster plan that includes out-of-town contacts and locations to reunite if you become separated. Be sure everyone knows home, work and cell phone numbers, and how to call 9-1-1. Review Red Cross guidelines for tsunami preparedness and family disaster plans, including evacuation plans.
  • Prepare a disaster supplies kit with food, water, medical supplies, battery-powered radio and NOAA Weather Radio,  batteries, flashlights, and other items.
  • Put important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, deeds, financial and insurance records in a fire- and water-safe location or safe deposit box.

Know the Terms

  • Advisory - An earthquake has occurred which might generate a tsunami.
  • Watch - A tsunami was or may have been generated, but is at least two hours travel time to the area in Watch status.
  • Warning - A tsunami was, or may have been generated, which could cause damage; therefore, people in the warned area are strongly advised to evacuate.

If a Tsunami WATCH Is Issued

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or Civil Defense messages on local radio and television stations. As the energy of a tsunami is transferred through open water, it is not detectable. Seismic action may be the only advance warning before the tsunami approaches the coastline.
  • Locate family members and review evacuation plans. Make sure everyone knows there is a potential threat and knows the best way to safer ground.
  • If you have special evacuation needs (small children, elderly people or persons with disabilities), consider early evacuation. Evacuation may take longer, allow extra time.
  • If time permits, secure unanchored objects around your home or business. Tsunami waves can sweep away loose objects. Securing these items or moving them inside will reduce potential loss or damage.
  • Be ready to evacuate. Being prepared will help you to move more quickly if a tsunami warning is issued.

If a Tsunami WARNING Is Issued

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or Civil Defense messages on local radio and television stations. Authorities will issue a warning only if they believe there is a real threat from tsunami.
  • Follow instructions issued by local authorities. Recommended evacuation routes may be different from the one you use, or you may be advised to climb higher.
  • If you are in a tsunami risk area, do the following:
    • If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once. A tsunami warning is issued when authorities are certain that a tsunami threat exists, and there may be little time to get out.
    • Get to higher ground as far inland as possible. Officials cannot reliably predict either the height or local effects of tsunamis. Watching a tsunami from the beach or cliffs could put you in grave danger. If you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it.

During a Tsunami

  • Turn on your radio to learn if there is a tsunami warning if an earthquake occurs and you are in a coastal area.
  • Move inland to higher ground immediately and stay there.
  • If there is noticeable recession in water away from the shoreline this is nature’s tsunami warning and it should be heeded. You should move away immediately.

After a Tsunami

  • Stay away from flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to return.
  • Stay away from debris in the water; it may pose a safety hazard to boats and people.

The Recovery Process

  • Contact the American Red Cross for disaster relief—shelter, food, health and mental health services.
  • List yourself with the Red Cross so family and friends will know that you are safe and well.
  • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the County, State or Federal government and other organizations.

Dangerous Tsunami Myth! A tsunami is a single wave. The Facts: A tsunami is a series of waves. Often the initial wave is not the largest. The largest wave may occur several hours after the initial activity starts at a coastal location. There may also be more than one series of tsunami waves if a very large earthquake triggers local landslides.

Resources to help you prepare for tsunamis

To learn more about tsunamis and how to prepare for them, see:

Wednesday
Jun132018

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS - After a Flood

After a Flood

In the event your home or property has been flooded, what do you do to cope with and recover from the damage?

  • Know the first steps to take after a flood.
  • Play it safe. The danger is not over when the rain stops or the water goes down.
  • Take care of yourself now and in the days ahead.
  • Check for hazards when returning home.
  • Get Help
    • Contact the American Red Cross for disaster relief:  shelter, food, health and mental health services.
    • List yourself with the Red Cross so family and friends will know that you are safe and well.
    • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the County, State or Federal government and other organizations.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss your flood insurance claims.
  • Clean up and repair your home and damaged property.
    • Repairing Your Flooded Home (PDF) gives step-by-step advice from FEMA and the Red Cross on how to clean up, rebuild and get help after a flood. See also “Resources to help you recover from disaster.”
    • Help After a Disaster (PDF) describes the types of assistance available through the Federal Individuals and Households Program.
    • Floodproof. Take your time to rebuild correctly and make improvements that will protect your building from damage by the next flood. Check with the Building Division for the necessary permits.
    • If you hire cleanup or repair contractors, be sure they are qualified to do the job (see Selecting a Contractor/Consultant). Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home. Check references or get a list of licensed contractors in Hawai‘i.
    • Tips  for saving water-damaged items and recovering flood damaged property.
  • Protect yourself from the next flood with flood insurance.

 

Resources to help you recover from disaster

Publications

  • After a Flood: The First Steps (FEMA L-198). Information for homeowners on preparedness, safety, and recovery from a flood.
  • Repairing Your Flooded Home (FEMA 234) is a 60-page booklet prepared by FEMA and the Red Cross on how to perform simple home repairs after flooding, including cleaning, sanitation, and determining which professionals to involve for various needed services.
  • After the Flood (PDF) factsheet from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program.

Online sources