HONOLULU (KHON2) — Wind and rain, that’s what Hawaii County officials are warning residents to brace for this weekend.

“In preparation for Darby, please take this time to secure outdoor items from possible wind damage and to address flooding concerns,” the County of Hawaii Civil Defense said.

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Those heading to Big Island beaches should be extra cautious. The Civil Defense Agency said there may be sudden beach closures.

“Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers, please exercise caution as strong breaking waves, shore break and rip currents make swimming difficult and dangerous.”

County of Hawaii Civil Defense

Meanwhile, Maui County officials are cautiously optimistic Darby will bring drought relief.

“We really pray for the safety of all of our residents, but we do hope it brings some safe moisture to our state with some of the drought conditions we are experiencing,” said Josiah Nishita, Maui County deputy managing director.

Federal, state and county partners are in a position to respond. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has activated its state emergency operations center to level three on Thursday.

“Just walking through our hurricane coordination call, which we did on Monday as a test and then actually we did this morning with the National Weather Service,” said Luke Meyers, HI-EMA administrator. “Just bringing the team together and looking at the potential impacts and walking through what responses might be needed.”

This comes as a pre-planned emergency preparedness exercise will happen on Saturday. Amateur radio operators will test emergency equipment that’s crucial during a natural disaster.

“We have volunteers on all the islands using amateur radio to communicate shelter reports, hurricane damage reports, weather reports,” said Michael Miller, an amateur radio operator. “People are going to need help in different districts and that’s what this exercise is setup to do.”

Although Darby is expected to weaken, HI-EMA will hold another briefing Friday as good practice.

Hawaii County officials are asking the public to stay prepared and connected over the weekend.

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“Fortunately, it seems that we’ve gotten a break with Darby, but it always prompts us to prepare for the season,” said Holeka Inaba, Hawaii County Council Public Safety Committee chair.