Homeowner’s Handbook – What’s New in 4.0

The fourth edition of the Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards is available now! Learn how you can prepare for natural hazards including tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, flood, volcano, and climate change.

Receive a FREE copy of this valuable resource book!

Visit DLNR’s booth (#724) at the BIA Home Building and Remodeling Show (January 24, 25, & 26) and mention the Wai Hālana blog for a FREE copy of the Homeowner’s Handbook!

DLNR staff will be available all weekend to educate property owners on flood risk and flood insurance.

What’s New in 4.0

Evacuation Planning – New resources, summarized in Tables can help families create their emergency and evacuation plans. Table 3-5 summarizes this Part of the book and provides interactive links for: (i) tsunami evacuation maps important for tsunami evacuation planning; and (ii) flood, storm surge and wind topographic speed up maps, important for hurricane evacuation planning. The maps for hurricane evacuation planning should be used with the shelter in place table with instructions (Table 3-4). Note for most evacuation scenarios, wait for specific instructions from emergency management or civil defense before evacuating as there will be warning time. The exception is when there is no warning time (e.g., a local tsunami (Table 3-3 Evacuation NOW Signals), an earthquake (“Drop, Cover, and Hold”) or flash flood (“Turn Around, Don’t Drown”). It is important to know what to do in advance before an event so that you can properly act when instructed by emergency officials, or when there is an event with no warning time.

Retrofit Options – Almost every house in the state can be strengthened for hurricanes, the #1 hazard risk in the state. The Handbook covers many retrofit measures such as how to install the Hawai'i Plantation Tie hurricane clip, adding window protection and strengthening roofs. In addition, new methods to complete the load path with structural screws for double-wall houses are in the book and also here. There are many other best practices for flooding, earthquakes, and wildfire.

For Single Wall Houses on “Tofu Blocks” – See: (i) 2009 Post and Pier Seismic Retrofits Report; (ii) Demonstration of Post and Pier Retrofit with New Connectors; and (iii) Post-Demonstration Project Evaluation and Assessment. To see the benefits of a post and pier retrofit, view a video on the lab tests for Post and Pier Retrofit here (NOTE that some of the links in this 2009 video are no longer active).

Volcanoes – With the record activity in 2018 in Hawai'i County, sections on volcanoes are added with the USGS to explain the science, the risk from lava and VOG, and how to cope.

Climate Change – Sections on climate change are added to address heat, drought, wildfire, infectious disease, sea-level rise and erosion. Working with partners (NOAA, DLNR, and Hawai'i Wildfire Management Organization), the science is explained, applicable hazard maps with interactive links provided, and methods to reduce risk are identified.

Resilience, Adaptation, and Sustainability – Resilience strengthening measures now have a climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability component. See Part 4 for windows, roofs, solar panels, landscaping and energy efficiency. Also Appendix B supplements.


The Homeowner’s Handbook is published by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program

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