Resources & Contacts

Preparedness

Pacific Fire Exchange - Fire science exchange network

Emergency Disaster Education Network (USDA NIFA, NOAA Sea Grant)

Farm Service Agency Programs

Report farm and ranch land damages (including lava flow) to:

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) at:
808-933-8381 ext. 2
154 Waianuenue Avenue, Rm 122
Hilo, Hawaii   96720

FSA programs that help eligible farmers and ranchers recover from natural disasters include:

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
Financial assistance for low yields or crop losses due to natural disaster. (Must already be in the program.)

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
Emergency funding and technical assistance to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disaster.

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
Assistance for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality due to natural disaster.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm Raised Fish Program (ELAP)
Assistance for loss of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish due to natural disaster. (Covers losses not covered under other disaster assistance programs.)

Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
Financial assistance for eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines lost due to natural disaster.

Emergency Loan Program
Emergency loans to help eligible producers recover from production and physical losses due to natural disasters. Also inquire about micro loans and operating loans.

Call 933-8381 ext. 2 for more information

Additional Resources

Disaster Recovery app (for Androids phones)-assists in recording images of damages and details for insurance and or/govt reimbursement.

Hawai‘i Emergency Mangement Agency — current advisories and related information

Pacific Fire Exchange -- Facilitates fire knowledge exchange, "enables collaboration between resource managers, fire responders, landowners, communities, government, nonprofit and higher education".

 

Fire - Prevention & Resources

 

Wild fire, grasses in flames


  • Human Health
  • Firescaping
  • Wildfire

Excess heat, smoke and toxic fumes released from burning materials, as well as chemicals used to fight fires, can cause foods exposed to them to be unsafe to eat. Saving food that has been in a fire is often unwise.

Heat from fire

Food in cans and jars exposed to the heat of a fire may no longer be safe to eat. Heat can activate foodborne microorganisms. If heat is extreme enough, cans and jars can split or break, making the food unsafe. To be safe, throw away any food that has been burned or near fire. Fumes and smoke from fire. Fire can release toxic fumes from burning materials. Toxic fumes can contaminate foods both inside and outside of refrigerators and freezers. To be safe, throw away food exposed to fumes and smoke from fire including:

  • Any type of food stored in permeable packaging such as cardboard, plastic wrap, and screw-topped jars and bottles – even if they have not been opened.

  • Raw foods, such as potatoes or fruit.
  • Foods having an off-flavor or odor.

Chemicals from fire

Toxic chemicals used to fight fires can contaminate food and cookware. To be safe, throw away foods exposed to chemicals including those:

  • Stored at room temperature, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Stored in permeable packaging, such as cardboard, plastic wrap, and screw-topped jars and bottles – even if they have not been opened.

To be safe, decontaminate canned goods and cookware exposed to chemicals:

  • Remove labels and relabel with marker. Include the expiration date.
  • Wash in a strong detergent solution. Rinse.
  • Soak in a bleach solution of 1 tablespoon of regular-strength bleach per gallon of water for 15 minutes.

When building homes in wildfire-prone areas, landscaping must be designed with fire safety in mind.  The information below are excerpts taken from "Firescaping - Landscape Design for Wildfire Defensible/Survivable Space":

Firescape integrates traditional landscape functions with a design that reduces the threat from wildfire. It includes planting for fire safety, vegetation modification techniques, use of fire safety zones, and defensible space principles.

In firescaping, plant selection is primarily determined by a plant’s ability to reduce the wildfire threat.

Avoid Evergreens near the House

Minimize use of evergreen shrubs and trees within 30 feet of a structure because junipers, other conifers, and broadleaf evergreens contain oils, resins, and waxes that make these plants burn with great intensity. Use ornamental grasses and berries sparingly here because they also can be highly flammable. Choose “fire smart” plants. These are low-growing plants with high moisture content. Their stems and leaves are not resinous, oily, or waxy.

Deciduous trees are generally more fire resistant than evergreens because they have a higher moisture content when in leaf and a lower fuel volume when dormant, and they typically do not contain flammable oils.

The 30 feet closest to a structure is the most critical defensible space area. This is an area where highly flammable fuels are kept to a minimum and plants are kept green throughout the fire season. Use well-irrigated perennials here. Another choice is low-growing or non-woody deciduous plants.

Incorporate the following defensible space principles in your firescape design:

  • Create a minimum 30-foot defensible space around structures (larger if there is a slope).
  • Remove dead vegetation.
  • Create “islands” of plants with space between.
  • Create separation between layers of vegetation, eliminating the fuel “ladder.”
  • Keep the landscape green and low growing — that is, “lean, clean, and green.”

Resources for Natural Resource managers and landowners:

Pre-Fire Planning Guide for Resource Managers and Landowners in Hawai‘i and Pacific Island

The Grass-Fire Cycle on Pacific Islands - understand the grass-fire cycle to better manage grasslands reduce risk of wildland fire