After historic flooding and lava, is Hawaii ready for a potential hurricane?

After historic flooding and lava, is Hawaii ready for a potential hurricane?

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If Hurricane Hector was to become a threat to the islands, would the state, counties, and non-profit organizations have the resources they need to respond to another disaster?

Emergency management teams and volunteer groups say they were stretched thin dealing with the back-to-back disasters of the historic flooding and the ongoing Kilauea eruption.

While they say they're prepared for a possible hurricane, there are signs of strain.

"We're tired. Everybody's tired," said Coralie Matayoshi, CEO of the American Red Cross of Hawaii.

Matayoshi says the last few months have been grueling for her staff and volunteers.

Now, they're tracking Hector.

"We're constantly training new volunteers because we will never have enough if (Hector) hits the whole island chain," Matayoshi said.

To prepare for the hurricane, Matayoshi says her team has already started calling volunteers to check their availability and put them on alert.

"We were able to recruit a lot of volunteers from the Big Island, about 400 brand new volunteers, that can help us in the shelters now for the lava, and also in case Hurricane Hector arrives," she said.

Gov. David Ige says with hurricanes, there's time to plan.

He says the state has the resources to deal with another disaster.

"As Hurricane Hector approaches, we'll be engaging all of the emergency managers again and talking about what kind of support they anticipate," Ige said.

When it comes to the National Guard, Ige says there are six guardsmen on Kauai and about 120 on the Big Island assisting with the current disasters.

But he says there are still 5,000 guardsmen waiting to be activated in case Hector becomes a threat next week.

From highway repairs to overtime for employees, the state and counties have already spent tens of millions of dollars on recovery and response efforts.

But Ige says money should not be a top concern when preparing for disasters.

"The first and foremost priority is making sure that we have the right people with the skill sets needed to support emergency managers on the county level to keep the community safe," he said.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.