Hurricane preparedness Hawaii

Hurricanes are dangerous storms because they combine a triple threat of violent winds, torrential rains, and abnormally high waves and storm surge.  Each of these factors alone can pose a serious threat to life and property.  Taken together they can inflict great loss of life and widespread destruction. If you live here it is important to know about hurricane preparedness in Hawaii.

Watches and warnings are prepared for the Hawaiian Islands by the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. When issued, people should closely monitor local media (Maui radio stations, TV, or NOAA weather radio) for official bulletins of the storm’s progress and instructions from Civil Defense authorities.

A Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watch means the threat of hurricane or tropical storm conditions exists within 48 hours.

WHEN A WATCH IS ISSUED:
• Fuel family vehicles.
• Store and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture and other loose lightweight objects.
• Prepare to cover all window and door openings with boards, shutters or other shielding materials.
• Check food and water supplies.  Have at least two weeks of drinking water (14 gallons per person) and stock up on canned provisions.  Keep a small cooler with frozen gel packs handy for refrigerated items. Turn up refrigerator to maximum cold.  Don’t open unless necessary.
• Check prescription medicines, have at least 10-14 days supply.
• Stock up on extra batteries for radios, flashlights and lamps
• Check and replenish first-aid supplies.
• Have an extra supply of cash.

When a hurricane threatens, you will have to decide whether you should evacuate or shelter at home.

IN GENERAL:
• If you live on the coastline, PLAN TO LEAVE.
• If you live near a stream or in a flood plain, PLAN TO LEAVE.
• If you live in a sturdy structure away from coastal and rainfall flooding, consider staying, but follow instructions issued by Civil Defense.  Evacuate immediately if ordered to do so.
• If evacuating, leave early.  Each person (and pet) should have food, water and other necessities for a minimum of three days.  Don’t leave pets at home.  Take them in crates to a pet-friendly shelter.  Shelters will be announced on radio and other public media.
• Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
• Use phone only for emergencies.
• If necessary to contact others, text – don’t talk.

DURING THE STORM:
• Stay away from windows and doors, even if covered.
• Close all interior doors.  Brace exterior doors if possible.
• Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, hallway or basement if available.
• If the eye of the storm passes over, it will be calm for a short period of time.  Remain indoors!  When the eye passes, winds will increase rapidly to hurricane force from the opposite direction.
• Remain calm.  It may take several hours for the storm to pass.

For more information:
Maui Civil Defense Agency – www.mauicounty.gov/civildefense
Maui Ready – www.mauiready.org
Ready – www.ready.gov
Central Pacific Hurricane Center – http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/

Stay Safe and be prepared this hurricane season.

Image Credit: Earth.NullSchool.Net

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