(BIVN) – The Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency says now is the time for preparation to avoid long lines at gas stations, grocery stores, and ATMs across Hawaiʻi in the event of a hurricane.
The National Weather Service is predicting an above average storm potential for this year’s hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
“Hurricane season brings the very real threat of high winds, rain, storm surge and potential flooding to the Hawaiian Islands. There could be significant impacts even if a hurricane doesn’t hit us directly. I urge Hawai’i’s residents and businesses to prepare now. Make an emergency plan, talk about it with your families and employees, and gather supplies to ensure that our communities are resilient,” said Governor David Ige in a media release issued on Wednesday.
Last year, a brush with Hurricane Lane brought torrential rains that flooded Hawaiʻi Island. HI-EMA says:
Last year’s season brought on the storm named Lane, which, had it maintained its course towards the islands, would have resulted in devastating potential damage to residents and their property. It most likely would also have resulted in catastrophic destruction to our economy due to the isolated location of Hawai’i. With the shutdown of ports, goods and services would have been weeks or even months away.
Residents are urged to prepare an “emergency kit” of a minimum of 14 days of food, water, and other supplies.
“We advocate for a 14-day recommendation because of Hawai’i’s location in the Pacific during a disaster,” said Thomas Travis, Administrator of HI-EMA. “Everyone who plans ahead and prepares an emergency kit helps not only themselves, but they also help their entire community deal with a disaster.”
Family supplies should be kept fresh for the entire season by rotating, consuming, and replenishing them over time, officials say.
HI-EMA also recommends that residents and visitors take the following actions in preparation for a possible hurricane or tropical cyclone:
- Talk with family members and develop a clear understanding of what you will do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens.
- Prepare an action plan that includes details such as whether your family intends to shelter in place or evacuate.
- Know if your home is in an inundation zone, flood zone, or susceptible to high winds and other hazards. Know if your home is retrofitted with hurricane resistant clips or straps.
- Stay tuned to local media and their websites and/or apps regarding weather updates.
- Sign up for local notification systems (i.e., HNL.Info).
- Sign up for a community emergency response team.
- Get to know your neighbors and community so you can help each other.
- Walk your property and check for potential flood threats. Clear your gutters and other drainage systems. Remove and secure loose items. Keep your car’s gas tank filled.
- Prepare your pets by checking or purchasing a carrier and other preparedness items. A pet carrier is necessary for your pet’s safety if you plan to evacuate to a pet-friendly shelter. Don’t forget 14 days of food and water for your furry family members.
- Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.
- Secure your important documents in protective containers including copies of your insurance policies, a home inventory of valuables, and your agent’s or insurer’s contact information.
- Visitors should download the GoHawaii App and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure.
- Build an emergency kit – now.