How is the County planning for recovery?
There are three main documents being produced to guide recovery following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption: a Recovery Strategic Plan, Volcanic Risk Assessment, and an Economic Recovery Plan.
Drafts of these documents were produced in late December after more than a year of community engagement, which helped to identify recovery strategies and community priorities.
As of January, Hawai‘i County’s Kīlauea eruption recovery team was further developing the drafts ahead of additional community stakeholder input.
Community engagement remains ongoing and will continue through the planning process and beyond.
What do the plans do?
The Recovery Strategic Plan facilitates recovery in the short and long term, and will identify recovery strategies and projects that will support impacted areas while mitigating risks from volcanic hazards.
The Volcanic Risk Assessment takes a look at all volcanic hazards across Hawai‘i Island and identifies recommendations for mitigation. The recovery plan and risk assessment are developed with the help of Tetra Tech.
The Economic Recovery Plan looks at economic damages caused by the 2018 eruption and Hurricane Lane and provides recommendations for improving the economy of Puna and the island as a whole. This plan is drafted with the help of the Institute for Sustainable Development.
The disaster recovery task force, an advisory group consisting of County and community representation, will be briefed on the draft plans at its next meeting in late January.
Afterward, the recovery team anticipates presenting briefings to community groups in February to gather additional input. Plans are expected to be finished in late February or in March.
How are recovery decisions made?
The recovery management structure and decision-making framework was designed to support both planning and implementation phases of recovery.
The process includes a disaster recovery task force – an advisory group consisting of representatives from the County administration, County Council, and Community members – that is responsible for vetting proposed recovery strategies, which will be decided upon by the administration or County Council. Task Force members are assigned as co-chairs for different recovery support function working groups. These are recovery categories outlined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
A Housing Agency consisting of members of the County Council will oversee adoption of an Action Plan for the use of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For more information on the planning process, visit the planning page.
How long does recovery take?
Recovery is a long-term, iterative process – meaning that recovery takes place in multiple phases, with each phase informing activities in subsequent phases. Recovery can take anywhere from 5-10 years, depending on the scale and duration of the disaster.
The 2018 Kīlauea Eruption in the Lower East Rift Zone was unprecedented in scale and speed, resulting in extensive displacement of families and businesses, and the disruption of businesses throughout the Island of Hawaiʻi.
Recovery began in June 2018 and will involve continuing efforts to meet immediate and near-term needs, as well as long-term planning and implementation.
Events and impacts of this magnitude result in a "new normal" and present an opportunity to refresh and renew families, communities, and the environment.