What You Need to Know About VOG on the Big Island

What You Need to Know About VOG on the Big Island

  • Mauna Kea Realty
  • 07/5/18

As Big Island real estate professionals we know the concerns those who live on the island and those who are wondering whether or not to vacation here have.

​​​​​​​Considering the the Kilauea eruptions and the aftermath, many wonder what VOG is, how it could affect them and just how safe it really is on the state’s largest island. 

As we all know the media tends to blow things out of proportion, so we thought we would help to clear things up a bit for those who are here or considering traveling to the Big Island.

​​​​​​​No doubt there has been considerable damage and residents have lost their homes or had to evacuate. The truth is, Kilauea has experienced on and off eruptions for thousands of years. That said, there are things those who live on or visit the island can do to reduce the potential health effects of VOG, which is defined as “smog or haze containing volcanic dust and gases.”

Realize that VOG levels are not as high in lower elevations, such as near the ocean. It isn’t until you surpass 6,000 feet that VOG levels are higher.

When VOG is thick in a certain area, avoid that area if possible.

Mucus caused by VOG can be cleared by drinking hot tea and other fluids. Tea containing caffeine is especially effective, as it contains a bronchial dilator known as theophylline.

When VOG is extremely strong or high, stay inside and run the air conditioner. You’ll also want to avoid others who have a cold or the flu, along with dust, pollen and mold or mildew.

Heart and respiratory medications should be close at hand; ask your doctor about VOG and when to take these medications.

As long as you don’t have a heart or respiratory issue, wet handkerchiefs and respirators may help.

Other than the drawbacks, many consider VOG something that you can take advantage of depending on how you look at it. For instance, it’s the perfect time for those who love to hike to do so at Pololu’u Valley. Have a movie you’ve been wanting to see? Invite friends or family over to enjoy it with you. Read a book by your favorite author, or start on that spring cleaning you’ve been meaning to get to. VOG is often very similar to a rainy day, so choose activities you would normally do in that situation.

Take the opportunity to enjoy the beach, boating or even working on your tan when the VOG offers a bit of comfort from the heat of the sun.

Yes, the past few weeks have been stressful on everyone, especially those who have lost their homes due to volcanic activity. It’s simply a part of life when you live in paradise, but not one that should discourage you from continuing on.

At Mauna Kea Realty – A Hawaii Life Company we understand people’s hesitancy to visit the island or even consider buying a home when the news has been laser-focused on volcanic eruptions and the damage they cause. However, it’s important to note that there are concerns anywhere you live whether hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes, etc. If you’re considering a home, estate or other property on the Big Island, there’s never been a better time!