And, with tourism providing more than 30% of Hawaii's private sector jobs in 2017, when a volcano disrupts it, it sends shock waves across the island.
Although some residents, like Debbie Smith, are opting to stay put, at least for the time being.
The lava flows themselves were usually slow enough to be avoided, he said. "It's just a wait and see". He said he has a lung disease and air quality was getting too poor after lava entered the ocean upwind of his home.
One man had part of his left leg shattered after a piece of cooling lava hit him out of nowhere while he was on his balcony.
"But after this, well, we'll see", he said.
Since the eruption began on May 3, Hawaii County has ordered about 2,000 people to evacuate from Leilani Estates and surrounding neighbourhoods.
So far, more than 2,000 people have been evacuated from the area as almost two dozen fissures opened in the ground and lava slowly moved toward the sea. Experts warn that the duration of the eruption in total, and this one, can not be anticipated.
The preparations came as a third lava flow from Kilauea streamed into the ocean on Thursday.