On Hawaii’s Big Island Text Alerts Prove Critical During Hurricane, Volcanic Eruption

A large sinkhole at the Kilauea Overlook intersection inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii.

A large sinkhole at the Kilauea Overlook intersection inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii. Janice Wei / National Park Service via AP Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The Hawaii Police Department warned businesses and residents of flooding, landslides and toxic-gas spewing fissures during the events over the past four months.

Between Hurricane Lane in August and Kīlauea’s recent volcanic eruption that started in May, the Hawaii Police Department needed to keep residents and visitors abreast of developing public safety threats.

The hurricane dumped 52 inches of rain on the Big Island, causing flooding and landslides, while Kīlauea’s eruptions opened lava- and toxic gas-spewing fissures across parts of the island, destroying more than 700 homes.

Text alerts proved the quickest way to warn people about everything from road closures to evacuations.

“It comes in quite handy when we have a prolonged event,” Alan Richmond, public and media relations liaison for HPD, told Route Fifty. “The police chief feels that it’s vital for us to conduct proper communications year-round, 24/7.”

HPD has used critical event management software, Everbridge, for notifications for eight years—boasting 30,000 subscribers on the platform. Richmond and officers in the field issue informational updates daily.

Kīlauea updates ran for three months, HPD sending out a push message to mobile devices on the island asking interested users to text the keyword “LAVA” to 888777 for any reports on current conditions at the volcano’s summit and base. The keyword “LANE” was in place one week by comparison before and during the hurricane.

Text alerts can help coordinate personnel at businesses, hospitals and airports, as well as residents and visitors during disasters, terrorist attacks and cyber breaches, said Imad Mouline, CTO at Everbridge.

Many of the automatic messages sent by HPD during both events went out to large corporations making sure their employees or resources were safe. During serious disasters information on utility outages, crisis counseling, unemployment assistance, legal services, family case management, community meetings, and shelters can be provided.

“Whenever there is a critical event happening, we help with the entire life cycle of that critical event,” Mouline said.

Everbridge vets information from a variety of sources before alerting the client, who then identifies and notifies key stakeholders. Emergency operating procedures can be established to request responses to alerts.

The platform can also analyze alerts to see how well they’re performing and scale as needed.

IT management systems can connect with Everbridge to alert administrators when an intrusion is detected.

While Hawaii County uses a simple sign-up procedure for residents, different dissemination mechanisms can be used to send voice calls and emails. Maui County uses Everbridge as needed.

“We have the ability to deploy a system on an emergency basis,” Mouline said.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: D.C. Airport First In Nation to Catch Suspected Imposter Using Facial Biometrics

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.