Below are safety tips from a Hawai`i Island native local who only wants the best for you and your family. It is important to enjoy your vacation or staycation but remember that your safety is of the utmost importance. Please be respectful of the island and remember that people call the Hawai`i Island home. It is our kuleana to watch out for each other and be stewards of the land.
1. If you are not familiar with a beach, do not immediately get in the water. Especially do not get in the water if there is no one else swimming, or no lifeguards present. The water can appear calm, but still contain strong currents!
2. When visiting Mauna Kea, take time to acclimate to the altitude! Many visitors can succumb to altitude sickness if they do not rest for 30 minutes. It is recommended to do this at the Mauna Kea visitor center before continuing to the summit. Visiting Mauna Kea Safety and Responsibility
3. Bring warm clothes! Hawai`i is a tropical setting, but can get very cold depending on the location and altitude! For example, at the top of Mauna Kea during certain times of the year it can get below zero degrees Fahrenheit, or – 17.8 degrees Celsius. Even in the summer, it can still be extremely cold due to the altitude! Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park can experience low temperatures as well (around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, 4.5 degrees Celsius).
4. When hiking, stay on clearly marked trails, and be mindful of posted signage.
5. Phone signals can be spotty depending where you are at.
6. It gets very dark on the island after the sun goes down, be cautious when driving as street lights are not always available.
7. While driving around the island, be mindful of the wildlife! Hawai`i Island has a large population of feral pigs, mouflon sheep, and goats which also travel in herds. Please use caution while traveling along the island’s highways, specifically Saddle Road and the highway between Hilo and Volcano Village and the highways between Kona and Waimea.
8. Like any other vacation destination, be mindful of locking your car and NOT keeping valuables in plain sight.
9. When swimming, be cautious of wana (poisonous sea urchins). Reef shoes are highly recommended.