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Hawai‘i Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards

Your home is your castle. It protects you and your family, as well as your worldly possessions, from the elements. For many, the home is also your major investment. Yet natural hazards such as tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, or high wind events can threaten your home, both inhabitants and contents. When a natural hazard occurs, the results can be devastating. 

This handbook was created to help you prepare for a natural hazard so that risks to family and property may be reduced. While it is never possible to eliminate all damage from a natural hazard, you as a homeowner can take action and implement many small and cost-effective steps that could significantly lower your risk. Mother Nature can be intense. Your family and home deserve the protection that only you can provide. 

This handbook is divided into four parts. This introduction presents the purpose and layout of the handbook, and includes a discussion of common myths that may have prevented you from taking action in the past. A summary of the content of this handbook is also provided in the form of 10 action items. Part 2 provides basic information on tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding that will allow you to make an educated decision about the steps to take to protect your family and property. Part 3 discusses in detail how to protect yourself and your family. Included in this section are the stock of essential emergency supplies, evacuation kit, evacuation planning, evacuation procedures, and important information that the civil defense and emergency management agencies want you to know even before a warning siren goes off. Part 4 covers how you can protect your property. Many examples are provided. 

This handbook is available for free as a downloadable pdf file at the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program website: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/publications/Book 

This handbook will be updated on an as-needed basis as new information becomes available and feedback from the public is obtained. You can also contact your state or county civil defense and emergency management agencies by phone at the addresses and numbers provided in appendices. In addition, many of the sponsors and participants of this handbook may have updated information on their own websites. 

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