Hurricane season in the Central Pacific region (where Hawaii is located) runs from June 1 to November 30, but these tropical cyclones can occur any time of the year.
Weather services continue to track the eastern and central Pacific region for major storms that may come close to our state. Even without a direct hit on the islands, such storms can bring high winds and heavy rains, which can also cause flooding and damaging surf.
As of Friday, August 10, at 1 p.m. HST, there is no immediate threat of a tropical storm hitting Hawaii.
Impact in Hawai‘i
Tropical cyclones (i.e., hurricanes and other tropical storms) can occur at any time in the Central Pacific region, but especially from June to November. The Hawaiian Islands are susceptible to such tropical storms, with several hurricanes such as Iniki (1992) Iwa (1982) having caused major damage.
Even when there is no imminent threat, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) advises residents of Hawaii to have emergency kits containing food, water, medicine, and other important items that will last at least two weeks, as well as make emergency plans (see “What Can I Do?” below). These emergency kits will also help sustain families in case of other natural disasters or emergencies that may lead to a loss of utilities or other services.
What should I do?
Stay informed. Because hurricanes and other tropical storms regularly pose a risk to Hawaii, residents and visitors are encouraged to keep themselves informed about weather events and their potential impact on Hawaii, including location, whether they will bring strong winds and heavy rain, and when those effects will occur.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) reminds everyone to have a reliable way to get information and stay informed. You can get the latest information at the HI-EMA website, by monitoring local news broadcasts on radio and television, and by signing up for local emergency notification systems at the following webpages:
Signing up for emergency alerts with mobile apps such as the Weather Channel can also provide up-to-date information.
Make sure you’re prepared. Because of the unpredictability of such emergencies, as well as Hawaii’s isolation, island residents and visitors are vulnerable in case of a major natural disaster. With Hurricane Hector, as well as other natural disasters, DOH reminds everyone to be prepared by doing the following:
- Have a personal/family emergency plan. Make sure that each family member knows what to do and where to go in case of emergency. For useful ideas on making an emergency plan, refer to the DOH disaster preparedness “Make a Plan” webpage at health.hawaii.gov/prepare/protect-your-family/make-a-plan.
- Have an emergency kit with enough supplies to last at least 14 days. Essential supplies include water, food, hygiene items, radio, flashlight, medications, cash, basic first-aid supplies, clothes, and supplies for infants, seniors, pets, or other family members with special needs. For helpful guidelines on assembling an emergency supply kit, refer to the DOH disaster preparedness “Get a Kit” webpage. at health.hawaii.gov/…/protect-your-f…/prepare-an-emergency-kit.
For more information, please visit the Department of Health’s disaster prevention pages on protecting your family.
Maintain mental and emotional health. Many people experience emotional distress from natural disasters that have affected our state, such as volcanic activity and hurricanes. The insecurity of not knowing what will happen is a source of stress and anxiety for many people, particularly those in or near adversely affected areas or those who have been forced to leave their homes. Talk to your family members and friends to maintain a strong support system.
Children are particularly vulnerable, as they have trouble processing what is happening. Help your children by sharing age-appropriate information and being honest about what is happening. Set a good example for children by taking care of yourself (which will also help ensure that you will be available to help them). Take breaks and unwind periodically and ask for help if you need it. For help with feelings of stress and anxiety, you can call The Crisis Line of Hawaii 24/7 at 808-832-3100 on Oahu and toll-free at 1-800-753-6879 for neighbor islands.
Learn how to protect yourself from disaster. All Hawaii residents are also advised to learn how to protect themselves from natural disasters. Federal, state, and local agencies have information on what you can do before, during, and following a natural disaster:
- Hurricanes and tropical storms (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
- Volcanic eruption (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
- Tsunamis (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
- Tsunami evacuation zones (Hawaii Emergency Management Agency)
- Earthquake (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
- Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)
- National Weather Service Honolulu office
- Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA)
- Hawaii County Civil Defense alerts page
- Recommendations for protecting children in response to natural disasters (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- American Red Cross Hawaii chapter