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Civil Defense

Hawaii's State Civil Defense agency has developed a warning system to alert the public of an emergency. If you hear Civil Defense sirens (a steady siren tone for 3 minutes and repeated if necessary), listen to your car radio, turn on the television or ask hotel personnel for emergency instructions. Please note that civil defense sirens are routinely tested at 11:45 am on the first working day of each month.

Emergency Broadcast Stations

Designated radio stations will broadcast important information in the event an emergency occurs, such as flash flood warnings and other similar events.

Hawaii Island

670 AM KPUA (Hilo)
850 AM KHLO (Hilo)
94.7 FM KWXX (Hilo)
97.9 FM KKBG (Hilo)
106.1 FM KLEO (Kona)


93.5 FM KQNG




590 AM KSSK and 92.3 FM
96.3 FM KRTR

Foreign Language Radio Stations That Broadcast Emergency Related Information

• KZOO 1210 AM (Japanese)
• KNDI 1270AM (Samoan, Marshallese, Visayan, Tagalog, Cantonese)
• KREA 1540 AM (Korean)

Watches and Warnings

Watches and warnings are prepared for the Hawaiian Islands by the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. When watches and warnings are issued, people should closely monitor radio, television or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins of the event's progress and instructions from civil defense authorities.

The following descriptions are provided to assist you in understanding the various watches, warnings and advisories that could be issued:

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch

Hurricane/Tropical Storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning

Hurricane/Tropical Storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.

Flood Advisory

Exercise caution due to hazardous driving conditions. Be alert for ponding and debris on roadway: slippery roads and poor visibility.

Flood Watch

Flooding is possible. Be alert!

Flash Flood Warning

Flooding is imminent or already occurring. Get to high ground if you are in a flood prone area.

Tsunami Watch

Issued by Pacific Tsunami Warning Center after distant earthquakes with potential to create a tsunami in Hawaii. Tsunami waves are possible. Visit their site for tsunami advisories.

Urgent Local Tsunami Warning

Issued when a local earthquake has occurred and damaging ways are probable. Wave travel time may be as short as 10-20 minutes.

In addition to state and county civil defense agencies and other emergency responders, visitors staying in hotel properties will be provided with information on what to do during various crisis situations. Emergency procedures for your respective hotel can be found in the back of the information compendium in your guest room. Please take a moment to review this important information.

Emergency Shelters

In the case of a severe emergency, such as a hurricane, the Civil Defense warnings on the radio and television stations may advise you to evacuate further inland, to higher ground or to an emergency shelter. These shelters are located primarily at schools and parks. It's important to note that shelters do not stock supplies, so if possible, bring food, water, clothing, blankets, medicines and other necessities.

For more on emergency preparedness, shelters and warnings, visit the Hawaii State Civil Defense website.