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LavaTalk: November 5, 2014 update on Kilauea’s lava flow


Hawaii County Civil Defense Eruption Audio Update for 7:30 a.m. November 5, 2014

Hawaii County Civil Defense Evacuation Notice for those in the immediate path of the Kilauea June 27th Lava Flow

Hawaii County Civil Defense Evacuation Notice for those in the immediate path of the Kilauea June 27th Lava Flow

This is an eruption and lava flow Information Update for 7:30 a.m., Wednesday November 5, 2014

This morning’s assessment shows that the flow front remains stalled with very little activity and has not advanced over the past five days. The flow pad continues to show signs of inflation which could result in breakouts and more activity. The front remains approximately 480 feet from the Pahoa Village Road. The upslope breakouts remain approximately .7 to 1.5 miles above the Apa‘a Street area and along the North side of the flow and moving in a North/Northeast direction.

Smoke conditions are light with light trade winds. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents down wind that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

The evacuation advisory for those residents down slope of the flow will continue and residents will be kept informed of the flow status and advancement.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for listening and have a safe day. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense

Kilauea June 27 Lava Flow map updated 7 a.m., November 5, 2014. Courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense

Kilauea June 27 Lava Flow map updated 7 a.m., November 5, 2014. Courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense

Kilauea June 27 Lava Flow map updated 7 a.m., November 5, 2014. Courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense

Kilauea June 27 Lava Flow map updated 7 a.m., November 5, 2014. Courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense

Lava Flow: Community Meeting Thursday (Nov 6), Information Center Open
The lava flow update meeting will be streamed live by Hawaii 24/7 at www.hawaii247.com/live/

The next lava flow community update meeting will be held with representatives from Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pāhoa High School Cafeteria.

In addition, the County of Hawai‘i has established an Incident Command Center and Informational Resource Center at the Pāhoa Community Center. Residents are invited to the information center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for answers to their questions.

For the latest Civil Defense message, go to www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…. For more information, contact Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.​


View Hawaii County Lava Flow Information Centers in a larger map

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Sure Foundation Church in Puna, at Orchidland Estates (16-1592 Pohaku Circle, Keeau, HI 96749), for residents evacuated from their homes due to the lava flow in Pahoa.

USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Kilauea Status Update for 7:43 p.m. Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scientists of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory conducted an overflight of the June 27th lava flow in the early afternoon on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. The leading edge of the flow has not advanced since last Thursday, October 30, but minor breakouts were observed upslope of the flow tip just below and above of Apa`a Street. The most significant (although still minor) breakout was located on about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) above Apa`a Street.

Two small breakouts were also observed upslope of the crack system. The lava level in a lava-tube skylight on the flank of Pu`u `Ō`ō suggests lava discharge remains relatively low.

There was no net summit deformation throughout Wednesday.

Daily updates about Kīlauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

A helicopter overflight of the entire flow field is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. A daily update will be posted in the morning, and status reports will be issued as new information becomes available. Updates are posted at hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilau…

Contractors worked from each end of the 7.8-mile portion of Chain of Craters Road and met in the middle Nov. 5. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service)

Contractors worked from each end of the 7.8-mile portion of Chain of Craters Road and met in the middle Nov. 5. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service)

PROGRESS ON CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD

Significant progress has been made on the Chain of Craters Kalapana Road since work began in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Oct. 24.

On Nov. 5, the contractors, working from each end, met in the middle. This completes the rough grade of the road. Work will now begin on crushing excavated material for the road bed.

The finished road will be a gravel surfaced 22-foot-wide two-lane road.

The road is scheduled to be completed in the next 30-45 days, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Lower Puna residents will be able to access the route after the lava has crossed Highway 130 and Railroad Avenue and the National Park Service has determined that the road is safe for vehicles.

The emergency access route will not be open to the public or park visitors.

Residents will receive a free window decal for access through the park.

FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NOW AVAILABLE

President Barack Obama’s disaster declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make its Public Assistance program available to reimburse eligible emergency protective actions taken by the state, county and certain private non-profits (PNP) to save lives and protect public health and safety from the impact of the Kilauea Volcano eruption and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow.

The Public Assistance process is underway for eligible actions taken before, during, and after the disaster. Examples of eligible emergency protective measures include: warning of risks and hazards, emergency repairs, shelters and emergency and mass care, and security forces in disaster area.

“The Public Assistance program should not be confused with FEMA’s Individual Assistance and does not provide financial assistance to homeowners or individuals,” said Ken Suiso, the Federal Coordinating Officer for response and recovery operations for this disaster. “Our mission is to support emergency protective measures that eliminate or reduce an immediate threat to life, public health, or safety.”

Eligible applicants include state and local governments, and certain PNPs that provide an essential governmental service. All eligible applicants are reimbursed on a cost-share basis of usually 75 percent federal. The Public Assistance eligibility period for the Kilauea lava flow is Sept. 4 and ongoing. Additional Public Assistance categories may be added in the future.

FEMA is working with a host of other federal agencies, working under their own authority in response to the lava flow. They include U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highways, U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service, Department of Defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

JOINT NEWS DESK NOW OPEN IN RESPONSE TO FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION

WHO: State Civil Defense / Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (SCD/HI-EMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

WHAT: Joint News Desk now open in Honolulu, where SCD/HI-EMA and FEMA are coordinating support for recovery efforts in Hawaii County designated for federal disaster assistance on Nov. 3, 2014 in response to the Kilauea Volcano eruption and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow.

News Desk Line: 510-207-4011

HOURS: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., weekdays until further notice.

WHY: To enable effective and efficient coordination of disaster recovery operations among local, state, federal and other agencies

STATE URGES PAHOA RESIDENTS TO CONTACT INSURANCE COMPANIES

Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito urges Pahoa residents to contact their insurance companies in light of coverage questions regarding “Abandonment of Property,” “Loss of Use and Alternative Living Expenses” and Vandalism” that have occurred on the Big Island.

“Our thoughts are with the residents in Pahoa during this very difficult time. We want to remind people to focus on their safety and well-being instead of worrying about coverage rumors,” said Ito. “If homeowners have any questions or concerns about their coverage, we ask them to reach out to their insurance company as soon as possible.”

Pahoa residents who still have questions or concerns after contacting their insurance company can reach out to the Insurance Division using the toll free Big Island number, (808) 974-4000.

For more information, a lava informational brochure is available at cca.hawaii.gov/ins

HELCO: Lava Flow Spurs Innovation, Promotes Collaboration

The June 27 lava flow is spurring innovation and promoting collaboration despite its threat to the Puna community and the utility infrastructure that lies in its path.

Hawaii Electric Light would like to thank the many people who shared their ideas for protecting utility infrastructure from the lava’s extreme heat. The design process started in late August and involved numerous drafts.

Multiple factors were considered, and the final design was a collaborative effort between Hawaii Electric Light, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The partnership was instrumental in helping the company understand the characteristics of lava and how to best reduce the short and long-term heat impact to the infrastructure. Our partners continue to assist us with post-impact evaluations.

The key contributors were:

Hawaii Electric Light

· Michael Iwahashi, Assistant Superintendent, Construction & Maintenance

· Construction & Maintenance Division

University of Hawaii at Hilo

· Dr. Kenneth Hon, Professor of Geology

U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

· Tim Orr, Geologist

· Matthew Patrick, Geologist

Among those submitting a pole protection design was Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS) Public Charter School in Pahoa. Although the design was not used, Hawaii Electric Light recognizes their innovation which paralleled the efforts of experienced professionals.

The design was created by high school students in the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program. Their assignment began with a question: “What can you do to help the community?

“Our STEM class firmly feels necessity is the mother of invention,” said Eric Clause, lead STEM instructor. “When the students designed the power pole barriers, we looked at using materials that were ready and available and would work under the harsh conditions a lava flow would pose. We were really stoked when HELCO released similar design plans.”

The students are Maya Anderson, Michael Dodge, Jordan Drewer, Henry LaPointe, Lyric Peat, Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, and Logan James Treaster. In addition to the pole protection design, the STEM students designed an air purifier that can filter hydrogen sulfide, a heat resistant bridge that is cooled by flowing clean water, and a desalinization system that can provide quality drinking water.

Some students also are involved in the Hope for HAAS project using social media to raise funds to help HAAS accommodate displaced students in areas affected by the flow.

“Hawai‘i Electric Light applauds the students at HAAS for their innovation, creativity, and foresight,” said spokeswoman Rhea Lee. “With a lava flow headed their way, they responded proactively and not only developed a conceptual design to help protect power poles, but searched for other ways to help the community in which they live. These are qualities that we value and look for in our employees.”

www.haaspcs.org
www.hawaiielectriclight.com

Pahoa Public & School Library Remains Open; Offers 24/7 Wi-Fi Access

While the Kilauea lava flow advances, the Pahoa Public & School Library will remain open as long as conditions remain safe, announced State Librarian Richard Burns.

The Library, located on the campus of Pahoa High and Intermediate School, provides materials, reference services, programs, public computers and free wireless Internet access to the Pahoa community as well as the public, charter, and private schools in the area.

During this critical time, the Library will offer free after hours Wi-Fi service that will be accessible 24/7 as far as the signal extends beyond the perimeter of the building.  In addition, Mountain View Public and School Library and Keaau Public and School Library will also offer this free Wi-Fi access for area residents.

Wi-Fi users are advised to connect to the “HSPLS-Lava” network.

As the lava flow crosses through the town, the Library may temporarily close due to poor air quality conditions, but it is expected to reopen once conditions are safe.

“In an effort to provide access to the resources our Puna neighbors need, we are extending the hours of our free Wi-Fi service so that they can access the Internet for information, communication, recovery resources and other necessities” said Burns.

The Pahoa Public & School Library is located at 15-3070 Pahoa-Kalapana Road. Public service hours are: Monday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.TuesdayWednesdayThursday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Saturdayand Sunday closed.  Visit the Library or our HSPLS website: www.librarieshawaii.org for more information.

USPS Puna Lava Flow Contingency Plans (Oct. 28, 2014)

The U.S. Postal Service Honolulu District Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been meeting regularly to monitor the progress of the Puna lava flow and is reviewing contingency plans that will enable the Postal Service to continue to serve affected customers.

The District is in close contact with Hawaii County civil defense authorities and managers of potentially affected Hawaii island Post Offices. Contingency plans are being informed and guided by general civil defense public safety directives and specific concerns over the safety of Postal Service employees.

One of the factors that the EMT is closely monitoring is the impact to air quality of sulfuric dioxide emissions from the lava and smoke from burning forestry.

Adjustments will be made to postal operations as needed to ensure that employee safety is not compromised by air quality.

The Pahoa Post Office will remain open for business as long as it can operate without jeopardizing the safety or security of our postal employees, our customers and the mail.

If the Pahoa Post Office is evacuated, the Hilo Post Office will likely serve as a stopgap base of operations.

The District is making arrangements to lease an alternate facility near Pahoa that can be operational soon after an evacuation. The Postal Service is committed to continue delivery to its Pahoa customers as long as it is safe to do so.

Contingency plans will likely evolve as the lava flow continues to impact access to Pahoa and the lives of its residents.

Plans must consider employee safety concerns, the availability of resources and the Postal Service’s commitment to customer service.

The bottom line is that, regardless of how this lava flow event plays out, the mail will be delivered. We will find a way to get it done.

DISRUPTIONS FOR DEPARTMENT OF WATER SUPPLY CUSTOMERS ON PAHOA VILLAGE ROAD

Customers in the Affected Area may experience intermittent water shut-off this afternoon, October 28, 2014, due to valve installation work in the area.

Upon resumption of water service, the waterlines will be flushed and cleaned during which time you may notice turbid and/or discolored water.

You may also notice trapped air in your plumbing which will be released as you initially use water.

Affected customers are asked to take any and all precautions necessary to protect the customers’ property and facilities including, but not limited to, disabling electrical power to pumps and/or any other devices whose normal operation may be dependent on water pressure and/or water supply, and which might be harmed if automatically energized during the water shut-off.

If you have any questions, call Carl Nishimura at 961-8790.

KeonopokoSchoolClosure

CHANGE IN WATER PRESSURE DUE TO LAVA FLOW

AFFECTED AREA: CUSTOMERS NORTH OF THE LAVA FLOW ALONG PAHOA VILLAGE ROAD INCLUDING APAA STREET AS WELL AS ALONG HIGHWAY 130 FROM KEONEPOKO STANDPIPE/SPIGOT STATION UP TO AND INCLUDING THE UPPER PORTION OF KAHAKAI BOULEVARD; PAHOA, HAWAII

Should the flow reach Pāhoa Village Road, the Department of Water Supply will be shutting valves on each side of the lava flow. This will result in a drop in pressure for some customers. The change will occur imminently. The water system pressure will be decreased by approximately 50 pounds per square inch (psi).

Should you have any questions, call (808) 961-8050.


View Alternate Routes In/Out of Lower Puna in a larger map
Potential evacuation routes/alternative roads crews are working on.


Information Graphics by Dr. Mark Kimura, UH-Hilo

Hardended HELCO utility poles in Pahoa Town. Photo by Peter Sur, County of Hawaii

Hardended HELCO utility poles in Pahoa Town. Photo by Peter Sur, County of Hawaii

Hawaii Electric Light Preparing for Potential Impacts from Lava Flow

Hawaii Electric Light is closely monitoring the progress of the Kilauea lava flow. There is no immediate threat to its facilities or power lines.

The company continues to work with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other agencies to monitor and evaluate the flow and is prepared to respond.

Because of the unpredictable nature of the flow, Hawaii Electric Light has developed several plans to keep the power on and will put into action the plan that best fits the situation.

The safety of employees and community is always the top priority.

“Our plans are based on key objectives that include keeping employees and the community safe and keeping the power on for our customers as long as is safely possible,” said spokesperson Rhea Lee. “In developing our plans, we consulted with volcanologists, Hawaii County Civil Defense and other County agencies, leaders in the Hawaiian community, and other partners.”

Plans include, but are not limited to:

  • Protecting power poles from the heat generated by the lava by partially encasing select wooden poles with heat resistant and dispersive material
  • Increasing the distance between select power poles to span the lava flow
  • Extending our distribution lines on Government Beach Road and other areas as an alternate means to provide power to Puna subdivisions should the normal power distribution lines become inoperable
  • Relocating generators to the Puna District to provide an alternate source of generation should the flow isolate the area from the island-wide power grid

Crews have started work on Government Beach Road. In addition, pole protection prototypes were built in the Puna area.

“There is a lot of focus on protecting poles as a means to retain the current transmission and distribution system,” Lee said. “The designs developed are experimental, but we are hopeful that they will be successful and can be used on select wooden poles as the lava progresses.”

In addition, Hawaii Electric Light is exploring the possibility of operating a micro-grid in the event the lava flow isolates lower Puna from the power system.

“A micro-grid is disconnected from the utility grid and generates power for a specific area,” Lee said. “This option may allow us to continue to provide power to the lower Puna community until we are able to rebuild transmissions lines that are damaged by lava and interconnect these lines to the grid.”

However, outages may occur despite efforts to keep the power on for as long as possible. As the flow gets closer to our facilities, we will provide more specific information as to how customers could be impacted.

For customers who
evacuate, the company recommends:

  • Shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch
  • Unplug or turn off electric equipment and appliances
  • Call Customer Service at 969-6999 to request
    a service disconnect or transfer

Hawaii Electric Light’s free “Handbook for Emergency Preparedness” provides detailed information on preparing for emergency situations. The handbook is available in English, Cantonese, Ilocano, Korean, and Vietnamese and can be found at the company’s business offices, on its website www.hawaiielectriclight.com, or by calling 969-0137.

LAVA DANGER FORCES STATE LAND CLOSURE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY

Due to the recent lava flow activity adjacent to the Kaohe Homesteads area in the Puna district, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has closed all state unencumbered lands in the immediate vicinity.

These include the parcels designated by Tax Map Key numbers: (3) 1-5-01:21, 26 and (3) 1-5-08:01. Signs have been posted at various access points warning the public of the hazardous conditions.

DLNR has been receiving reports of tour groups and individuals wandering onto state lands to get a better look at the lava. Although the lava flow has temporarily stopped, there are outbreaks still entering onto state lands.

To ensure safety, DLNR is closing this area to all but essential personnel.

DLNR has also closed Wao Kele O Puna forest reserve, and Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve. Both areas are off-limits to all persons.

Entry into closed lands is a violation of Hawaii Administrative Rule Sec. 13-221-4 and Hawaii Revised Statute 171-6, and is subject of penalty up to $5,000 for the first offense. The Governor’s proclamation enhances the penalties for any offense committed during this emergency.

“DLNR intends to prosecute any trespassers who willfully violate the closures and place enforcement officers and emergency personnel at increased risk,” said William J. Aila,Jr., DLNR chairperson.

Emergency Preparations Trigger Closure of Pahoa Senior Center

The county Department of Parks and Recreation has closed its Pahoa Senior Center so the facility may be used as an emergency fire station servicing the lower Puna community threatened with lava inundation.

Until the lava threat from Kilauea Volcano ends, the Hawaii County Nutrition Program and the Senior Club will operate from the Nanawale Community Center.

Normal programming and scheduling will be offered, however, the Nanawale Community Center will be closed Oct. 20-31 so it may be used as a polling place for the General Election. Affected seniors will be notified of a temporary relocation during the voting period.

Coordinated Services for the Elderly (CSE) and Elderly Recreation Services (ERS) have been relocated to the Keaau Senior Center. For more details regarding the Department of Parks and Recreation’s elderly services, please call CSE at 961-8777 or ERS at 966- 5801.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the closure of the Pahoa Senior Center and thanks the public for its patience and understanding during this time of emergency.

AT&T PREPARED TO KEEP CUSTOMERS CONNECTED DURING LAVA FLOW

AT&T is committed to providing its customers with reliable communications before, during and after weather events and natural disasters – and has one of the industry’s largest and most advanced disaster response programs to keep its networks operational.

“Staying connected during natural disasters like the Puna lava flow is critically important to consumers, businesses and our emergency management officials,” said Jeffrey Yamane, AT&T Director of Network Engineering, Hawaii. “That’s why AT&T invests a tremendous amount of resources in our network reliability and disaster response capabilities.”

Local AT&T network maintenance teams have developed contingency plans that will allow us to rapidly respond and restore service if any of our network infrastructure is damaged or destroyed by the Puna lava flow. Our response may include the deployment of COWs (Cell on Wheels) and portable generators.

  • AT&T standard pre-disaster network preparations typically include:
  • Testing the high-capacity backup batteries located at cell sites.
  • Preparing COWs (Cell on Wheels) for deployment.
  • Staging extended battery life and portable generators and maintaining existing fixed generators.
  • Topping off generators with fuel at cell sites and central and field-level switching facilities.
  • Staging generators in safe locations for their immediate deployment once the natural disaster has passed.

AT&T is the first private sector company to receive certification under the Department of Homeland Security’s Private Sector Preparedness, or PS-Prep, program. PS-Prep certification validates that AT&T is able to maintain or recover its own business operations in the face of an emergency or disaster, whether natural, man-made, or cyber in nature.

With $600 million invested in the Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program, AT&T’s arsenal of equipment includes more than 320 technology and equipment, making it one of the nation’s largest and most advanced disaster programs.

The NDR team works closely with other AT&T response teams, local AT&T network personnel, regional Emergency Operations Centers and Local Response Center. In the event of damage, teams are poised to restore and maintain service until permanent repairs can be made.

AT&T also conducts readiness drills and simulations throughout the year to ensure our networks are prepared and our personnel are ready to respond at a moment’s notice. NDR will complete its 74th full-field recovery exercise this year. Since its inception in 1991, the NDR has responded to more than 72 declared disasters across the U.S. Additionally, the AT&T Global Network Operations Center monitors our networks 24/7.

UnitedHealth Group Acts to Support People Affected by Lava Flow

UnitedHealth Group and its benefits and services businesses, UnitedHealthcare and Optum, are taking immediate action to help people on the island of Hawaii who may be affected by the lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano.

This includes a free emotional-support line to help people in the affected communities and assisting health plan participants who may be affected and need to make alternate arrangements to ensure continuity of care.

  • Free Help Line: Optum, a leading health and behavioral health services company, is offering a free emotional-support help line.

The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at www.liveandworkwell.com

  • Help Finding a Network Care Provider, Early Refills: Plan participants who need help finding a care provider in the UnitedHealthcare network or obtaining early prescription refills can call customer care at the number located on the back of their medical ID card.

For plan participants who may have misplaced their medical ID card, call 866-633-2446, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (in the local time zone), Monday through Friday. People enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual health plans who have a smartphone can download the free Health4Me app, which provides instant access to their ID card, network care providers, their personal health benefits and more. The Health4Me app is available as a free download at the Apple iTunes App Store and the Android Market on Google Play.

UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two business platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 85 million people worldwide.

For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION WARNS OF HEALTH EFFECTS FROM SMOKE

The American Lung Association in Hawaii warns visitors and people living near the lava flow in Puna to take precautions against smoke exposure from burning vegetation and low levels of sulfur dioxide.

This smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles released as vegetation burns. In addition to burning your eyes, these fine particles and gases can be inhaled deeply into your lungs, making it harder to breathe.

Exposure can worsen other chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart disease.

Exposure to sulfur dioxide, a gas emitted by volcanoes, can also be harmful, burning the nose and throat and causing breathing difficulties.

Residents with respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and also those with chronic heart disease should take extra precautions during this time and call their physician immediately if problems develop.

“Even those without lung diseases may be at risk during this time,” said Kim Nguyen, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Hawaii. “With exposure to smoke, there is an increased risk of dangerous health effects ranging from respiratory tract irritation to more serious illness, including reduced lung function, bronchitis, worsening of asthma, and premature death. This is especially true for children, older adults and outdoor workers.”

People living near affected areas are encouraged to do the following:

  • Stay inside as much as possible, with doors and windows shut. Make sure only clean air circulates through air conditioners and/or air cleaners by using the recirculation setting.
  • When driving through smoky areas, car windows and vents should be kept closed. Air conditioning should be set to “recirculate” to avoid exposure to unhealthy outside air.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors, particularly if you smell smoke or experience eye or throat irritation.
  • Individuals with asthma are encouraged to contact their physician regarding any changes in medication they may need to cope with smoky conditions. The American Lung Association advises asthma patients who cannot reach their doctor to continue to take their medication and closely follow their asthma action plan as prescribed.

If you have questions, you can call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNG-USA (choose option #2) to speak to a lung health expert.

For more information about the American Lung Association in Hawaii or to support the work it does, call (808) 537-5966 or visit www.lung.org/hawaii

HAWAII ISLAND HUMANE SOCIETY

Unpredictable lava flows remind us that upfront planning now can ease stressful situations should there be a need to evacuate. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The Hawaii Island Humane Society has a few tips to help keep animals safe in the event of an evacuation:

HIHS encourages all pet owners to be safe and prepared. If you are advised to evacuate, please consider your pet’s safety. Do not leave animals behind.

Develop a plan for their ongoing care including transportation arrangements.

Larger animals including horses and livestock may need to be moved well in advance. Call friends or family members to locate alternate pastures.

Gather items for your pet’s emergency kit –

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Food
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Identification
  • Medication (if applicable)

If you evacuate, arrive at your destination prepared with your pet’s emergency kit and take your pets!

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, micro-chipping and more.

For further information, call 808-329-1175 or visit www.hihs.org

If you need help or advice with your emergency planning, call the HIHS Keaau Shelter at 966-5458.

Call for volunteers: In the event of an evacuation, HIHS Keaau Shelter will contact volunteers for assistance. If you are able and willing to assist, call the Keaau Shelter at 966-5458 to add your name to the volunteer call list.

Emergency Kit Wish List for HIHS Keaau Shelter: Donations graciously accepted.
Plastic waste bags for pooper scooping
Crates
Tents
Pet food and bowls
Cat litter and litter boxes
Cable ties
Volunteers and feral cat caretakers

Hui Pono Holoholona offering temporary shelter to cats displaced by lava. Owners provide food, litter, medications.

Email: lava@hphhawaii.org

HelpPuna.com Helps Animal Evacuation

The June 27 lava flow poses a threat to farms and homes in the Puna area near Pahoa. Since this flow is in an agricultural area, it also threatens farm animals such as chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, in addition to dogs and cats.

All these animals would need to be evacuated in the event of an approaching lava flow. As people prepare for possible evacuation, they need to prepare and plan for evacuating their livestock and pets, too.

Finding accommodations for displaced people and their animals could become a major challenge as this lava flow continues. H.E.L.P. Puna is providing a free website service for residents who need to find places to protect their animals, and other residents in safe areas who wish to offer their properties as “Places of Refuge”.

H.E.L.P. is the Hawaii Evacuation of Livestock and Pets, a program of the Good Shepherd Foundation, a nonprofit organization with an animal sanctuary in Opihikao, not far from the lava flow.

Everyone is invited to offer their property as a haven from the lava flow for any livestock and pets they can accommodate. Some will be willing to accept only certain types of animals, such as dogs or cats. Others may have large fenced pastures or yards where they can take horses, sheep, or goats. Still others may have small backyards where they can only take chickens.

Those offering their places as refuges can do so for free or for a fee. It is between the parties to decide all financial issues and ensure there is a good fit.

We also invite those with animal trailers to offer their services on this website. Some people will need help moving their animals.

— Find out more:
www.HelpPuna.com

BIG ISLAND STILL WELCOMING VISITORS

Tourism officials are reminding travelers the lava flow likely will not impact their vacations.

Most of the island’s hotels and resorts located along the Kohala and Kona coasts – the opposite side of the island – and none have announced any changes to operations in response to the lava flow.

Ross Birch, Big Island Visitors Bureau executive director, said, “It’s in a very remote part of the island and people don’t need to change their plans.”

However, Birch said, those with plans to stay at bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental units in the near future should keep in contact with the owners for the latest updates.

Guests who may not be able to stay in those units are urged to contact the BIVB office so accommodations can be made.

“We can connect people and help make other arrangements,” he said. “There is no reason not to come visit the Big Island.”

For further information, call (808) 885-1655 or visit: www.gohawaii.com/big-island

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