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Hurricane preparedness tips from Hawaii Red Cross

Are you ready for hurricane season? June 1 signals the start of hurricane season in Hawaii, which lasts all the way until November. The Hawaii Red Cross is telling residents that now is the time to create or update preparedness plans. “Avoid the craze of standing in supermarket lines to get bottled water and the anxiety of last minute plans for you and your family members,” the organization urges. “The Hawaii Red Cross is here for you and your loved ones by providing services and information to ensure that you can be prepared for any natural disaster that comes your way.” The Hawaii Red Cross offers three tips to help you get ready for this year’s hurricane season. [...]

Dashboard to track Hawaii innovation launched

Hawaii’s progress in fostering and capitalizing on innovation can now be tracked on a new interactive dashboard launched today. The “Hawaii Innovation Matters” dashboard was created through a partnership between UHERO and local coding bootcamp DevLeague, with support from the Hawaii Business Roundtable. UHERO said that innovation is the key to economic growth and prosperity, accounting for roughy half of the increase observed in U.S. gross domestic product. As a result, “it is important to be able to track our progress over time and to see how Hawaii stacks up against other states and localities.” [...]

UH leads $20 million study on water quality, policy

The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to the University of Hawaii to do a five-year, groundbreaking study of water sustainability issues through a collaboration called ‘Ike Wai. UH officials say the project will provide critical data and data models to water resource stakeholders. Increasing population, changing land use practices and issues relating to climate change are contributing to growing concerns over water quality and quantity in Hawaii. “Water really is life,” said UH President David Lassner. [...]

CoralBeat Wins First NASA App Challenge in Hawaii

The threat that climate change and human activity poses to the world’s coral reefs was the focus of the winning entry in Hawaii’s first NASA Space Apps Challenge event. CoralBeat won “Best Overall App” at the Honolulu competition, which was held at the Manoa Innovation Center from April 22-24. The diverse team included coders, scientists and science enthusiasts, and subject matter experts from NOAA and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. CoralBeat is an app focused on coral bleaching in Hawaii, with an interactive map that displays years of NASA satellite data depicting sea surface temperatures observed over the entire globe. An animation in the app shows how the ocean has warmed during the most recent El Niño event. [...]

Treat jellyfish stings with heat, not cold

When confronted with a jellyfish sting, people often reach for an ice pack for relief. But a new study out of the University of Hawaii has found that the opposite approach is more effective. A recent study by researchers at UH Mānoa, published this month in the journal Toxins, may finally put to rest the ongoing debate about whether to use cold or heat to treat jellyfish stings. Their systematic and critical review provides overwhelming evidence that clinical outcomes from all kinds of jellyfish stings are improved following treatment with hot packs or hot-water immersion. Jellyfish stings are a growing public health concern worldwide and are responsible for more deaths than shark attacks each year. [...]

April is Tsunami Awareness Month in Hawaii

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is encouraging the public to take tsunami preparedness into their own hands this April during Tsunami Awareness Month. Seventy years ago, on April 1, 1946, one of the deadliest tsunamis to ever hit Hawaii caused widespread devastation on all islands. Generated by an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands, the massive tsunami took 159 lives and caused more than $26 million in damage. April was chosen as the month to honor and remember the lives lost in all tsunamis to hit the state. Due to Hawaii’s location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we are extremely vulnerable to the threat of tsunamis. Distantly generated tsunamis can reach Hawaii within several hours and are triggered by earthquakes that take place along the Ring of Fire, which circles the Pacific Rim. Locally generated tsunamis are caused by earthquakes or volcanic activity that occur in or near the Hawaiian Islands, and can make landfall in a matter of minutes. [...]

Hawaiian language poetry, writing competition launched

A new Hawaiian poetry and writing competition is now accepting entries. The first of its kind, “He Hookuku Mele a Moolelo” (Poetry and Short Story Competition), is open to people of all ages from around the world, and is aimed at increasing skill and proficiency in the Hawaiian language. The only requirements to compete are an Internet connection to submit contest entries and the ability to compose or write in olelo Hawaii, the Hawaiian language. “There are many places to learn Hawaiian now, but this kind of effort links up all the learners, and even the teachers, in a fun, “give it your very best” kind of competition. This contest will generate new poetry and short stories that the whole Hawaiian language community can enjoy.” says Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, a professor of Hawaiian language at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a multi-award-winning composer, and the executive director of Awaiaulu, Inc., the organization sponsoring the competition. [...]