Safety Tips for Hawaiian Travelers | Go Hawaii


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Staying Safe in Hawaii

With our tropical climate and breathtaking scenery, Hawaii is what many people consider paradise. In fact, visitors consistently give Hawaii high marks for our natural beauty, safety and security. But even in paradise, precautions should be taken to avoid an unpleasant situation. On this page, you'll find information about ocean safety, driving safety and more. 

For more information about safety while traveling in Hawaii, watch the video below, or take look at the electronic version of our travel safety guide

Video: Enjoying Hawaii Safely

We want you to enjoy your stay and also be safe during your visit. This video will provide you with some safety tips to consider during your time in the islands. Please take a moment to watch it carefully so you can have a safe and fun experience in Hawai‘i.

Safety Information

Protect Against Mosquito Bites

Although mosquitoes can be found year-round in Hawaii’s warm climate, summer is peak season. Mosquitoes can act as carriers of diseases, such as zika, dengue and chikungunya, which are primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Fortunately, none of these diseases are native to Hawaii, nor are they being spread locally at this time. Help prevent mosquito bites, and the risk of diseases being transmitted, by applying EPA-registered insect repellent containing 20-30% DEET, and wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts, pants and shoes when outdoors, especially at sunrise and sunset when mosquitoes are most active. For more information, visit

Pedestrian Safety

Be a safe, smart pedestrian and know the rules. Review information provided by the Hawaii Department of Transportation at Walk Wise Hawaii, a program aimed at helping pedestrians be safer. Information is available in Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Samoan, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean languages.

Personal Safety

The majority of visitors to Hawaii will never have to deal with crimes like theft, but it’s always a good idea to practice basic personal safety precautions when exploring our islands.
  • Keep valuables in your hotel room or a hotel safe. When out for the day, keep essentials with you. 
  • Keep an eye on your belongings while on the beach.
  • If you must leave items in your trunk, place them there prior to arriving at your destination.
  • Carry travelers checks instead of large amounts of cash. Divide money and credit cards. 

Sun Protection

Sun Protection

Enjoying Hawaii’s tropical climate means being sun-smart and wearing proper sun protection at all times. Even when the sun is hidden by clouds, protect yourself from ultraviolet rays that come through. Before going out for the day, liberally apply sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating of 30 or higher, and reapply after swimming. Please bring reef-safe sunscreen that doesn't contain hazardous chemicals used in many sunscreens. Those chemicals cause bleaching of coral and damage the islands' ocean habitat. You may also consider wearing a brimmed hat, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirt and pants for added protection from the sun's rays.

Visitor Assistance

Hawaii is a beautiful place to visit, but even in paradise unpleasant situations can occur. If you experience any adversity, such as an accident, medical emergency or serious illness, or if you become a victim of a crime and have a police report, please call the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH). Have your police report number handy when you call.

Here is the contact information for VASH offices on the major Hawaiian Islands:

Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (Oahu)
Website - Phone: (808) 926-8274

Visitor Aloha Society of Kauai
Website - Phone: (808) 482-0111

Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (Maui County)
Phone: (808) 244-3530

Visitor Aloha Society of West Hawaii (Island of Hawaii – Kona)
Website - Phone: (808) 756-0785

Visitor Aloha Society of East Hawaii (Island of Hawaii – Hilo)
Website - Phone: (808) 756-1472

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency

Hawaii's state Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has developed a warning system to alert the public in the case of an emergency. If you hear Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sirens (a steady siren tone for three minutes and repeated if necessary), listen to your car radio, turn on the television or ask hotel personnel for emergency instructions. Please note that Hawaii Emergency Management Agency 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 if an emergency occurs, such as flash floods and other events.

Island of Hawaii:

  • 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


  • 550 AM KMVI


  • 590 AM and 92.3 FM KSSK
  • 96.3 FM KRTR

Foreign-Language Radio Stations that Broadcast Emergency-Related Information:

  • 1210 AM KZOO (Japanese)
  • 1270 AM KNDI (Samoan, Marshallese, Visayan, Tagalog, Cantonese)
  • 1540 AM KREA (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, visitors 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 website for tsunami advisories.
Urgent Local Tsunami Warning: Issued when a local earthquake has occurred and damaging waves are probable. Wave travel time may be as short as 10–20 minutes.

NOTE: In addition to information from state and county Civil Defense agencies and other emergency responders, visitors staying at hotel properties will be provided with information on what to do during various crisis situations. Emergency procedures for your hotel can typically be found in the back of the information compendium in your guest room.

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 Emergency Management Agency website.

Driving Safely in Hawaii

Driving Safely in Hawaii

Hitting the road on your Hawaii vacation? Learn the basics of driver safety before you buckle in.


Additional Tips

State Parks Tips

Visit the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources website for State Parks Division safety tips.


Special Alerts

You can also visit the Hawaii Tourism Authority's Special Alerts page for information on how the HTA keeps visitors informed and safe during any crisis situation that may occur.


Safety Guide

For more detailed safety information, view our online Travel Safety Guide.