HONOLULU (KITV) - It's no secret it's been a wild year for natural disasters in Hawaii and across the nation.

Although, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says last year was one of the most expensive and damaging seasons for natural disasters ever -- costing more than $300 billion in damages.

Plus, more than 46 million Americans were affected by storms and wildfires last year. That's about 15% of the U.S. population.

"While forecasts for this hurricane season aren't quite as severe as those last year, we are already witnessing the devastating impacts of Hurricane Lane in Hawaii, and Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. As was briefly mentioned, we are actively preparing for Hurricane Michael for landfall in the gulf," Kirstjen Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

Nielsen adds, disasters require a response bigger than one agency. The U.S. Department of Defense is now working with the DHS to respond to emergencies.