Poignant exhibits on Japan’s 2011 tsunami (which also caused significant property damage on the Big Island) and the 2004 Indian Ocean tragedy have broadened the international perspective in this compact museum in a former bank, which also offers displays explaining the science of the deadly phenomenon. Still, the stories and artifacts related to Hilo’s two most recent catastrophic tsunamis are impressive, including a parking meter nearly bent in two by the force of the 1960s killer wave, and accounts from survivors of the 1946 tsunami that washed away the school at Laupahoehoe. Many of the volunteers have hair-raising stories of their own to share—but you’ll feel better after reading about the warning systems now in place.