Natural Disasters and Pandemics

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Natural Disasters

Hawaii is susceptible to a number of natural disasters, including hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, and other emergencies.

The Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) is tasked with promoting and supporting emergency preparedness in order to protect the public’s health in case of a natural disaster. This includes coordinating emergency planning and support with a number of community partners, including the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, local hospitals, mass care providers, and other local providers.

For information on how you can prepare ahead of time in order to protect yourself and your loved ones in case of a natural disaster or other emergency, please visit our “Protect Your Family” page.


A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease, such as a new form of influenza. OPHP works with a number of Federal, state, and local partners to protect the public’s health in case of a pandemic. These include emergency preparation and coordinating health volunteers through the Medical Reserve Corps. In recent years, OPHP worked with CDC to respond to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic and helped prepare and educate public and health professionals during the Ebola threat.

Pandemic influenza is a major concern in Hawaii and around the world. DOH and the State of Hawaii have made preparation for an influenza pandemic a top priority, and this served us well during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. OPHP Branch and the rest of DOCD continue to update and strengthen DOH’s preparation plans and strong framework in order to protect the public’s health in Hawaii in case of a future pandemic.

Last reviewed January 2019