Residents Urged to Prepare Now for Possible Storm Impacts of Lane

August 20, 2018, 6:13 PM HST · Updated August 21, 1:06 PM
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10 Things You Need to Have in Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

Is your emergency preparedness kit stocked? Here's a quick run-down on what you should have in preparation for Hurricane Lane.

Posted by MauiNow.com on Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Honolulu Mayor Caldwell leads Monday’s briefing about Hurricane Lane at the city Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Courtesy photo.

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Hurricane Lane is expected to begin impacting Maui County on Wednesday evening, Aug. 22, 2018. Maui Emergency Management Agency and Mayor Alan Arakawa would like to remind the community to prepare now, before the storm hits, while there is still time.

Now is the time to get ready,” Arakawa said. “Anyone who is waiting until the storm hits to prepare will find themselves running around at the last minute and standing in line at the gas stations and grocery stores. So prepare now and avoid being on the road when you should be safe at home.”

MEMA offers these preparation tips BEFORE the storm:

  • Fuel family vehicles
  • Store and secure outdoor items and loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, etc., that may become airborne
  • Prepare to cover all window and door openings with boards, shutters or other shielding materials
  • Double check your emergency kit – make sure you have adequate water, nonperishable food and medications on hand

MEMA is coordinating readiness activities with county, state, federal and non-government partners. The county continues to closely monitor the storm and will announce road, park and school closures, along with shelter openings, as needed.

MEMA recommends that the public subscribe to receive alerts and notifications directly from the County of Maui.

For more preparedness information visit:

www.mauicounty.gov/emergency (DOWNLOAD FREE PREPAREDNESS WORKBOOK HERE)
www.redcross.gov
www.ready.gov

Honolulu Preparation Underway:

After leading a briefing this morning with directors and staff of various city departments as well as the Central Pacific Hurricane Center about Hurricane Lane, Mayor Kirk Caldwell is asking O‘ahu residents and visitors to remain vigilant as the storm is expected to pass just to the west of the Hawaiian islands.

“As Hurricane Lane continues to track toward Hawai‘i, the current forecast by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center calls for the possibility of high surf and rip currents, thunderstorms and even tropical storm force winds if the storm skirts O‘ahu’s Leeward Coast,” said Mayor Caldwell. “It’s important for residents and visitors to stay alert and stay informed.”

One of the best ways to stay informed about what Hurricane Lane is doing is by downloading the city’s smartphone app, HNL.info, which is also available as a website. Residents and visitors can track Hurricane Lane directly by visiting the Central Pacific Hurricane Center website at: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/

Another briefing will be held at the city’s EOC at 8 a.m. Tuesday, August 21. It will be the third briefing on Hurricane Lane since the storm began its march westward toward Hawai‘i.

Ever since the approach of another tropical cyclone, Hurricane Hector approximately two weeks ago, the Department of Facility Maintenance has been checking streams and channels for possible blockages. However, the city cannot clear debris from waterways that originate high in O‘ahu’s valleys, and urges residents to report any illegal dumping to the Department of Facility Maintenance Streams Hotline at 768-7890.

Meanwhile, the Department of Parks and Recreation wants to remind residents and visitors that if hurricane shelters were to open, they will be pet-friendly as long as animals are properly secured and don’t pose a danger to other people. Should Hurricane Lane pose a threat to O‘ahu, the Department of Transportation Services will utilize city buses to ferry residents to shelters, including those who are houseless by working closely with Office of Housing Executive Director Marc Alexander and local service providers.

The Department of Emergency Management is also in communication with the O‘ahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to ensure visitors are prepared. While visitors should not cancel their plans, they should be aware of Hurricane Lane’s approach to the Hawaiian Islands. It’s incumbent on our visitors to pay attention to warnings issued by local media and government sources, as well as keeping up to date with any announcements made by the O‘ahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

Mayor Caldwell and the city’s Department of Emergency Management urges all residents to know the following:

Disaster Preparedness:

Take the time now to consider basic disaster preparedness and what actions you or your family will take in the event a hurricane threatens O‘ahu. Due to our isolation and large population nearing one million residents it could be many days before local disaster relief efforts reach all of those who are affected.

Individuals, families and businesses should be prepared to be on their own for at least 14-days. Assemble basic supplies such as food, water, clothing and important medications for a 14-day kit. Also, visit our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM for more disaster preparedness information and to access downloadable information sheets.

Evacuation Zones:

Be aware that if you live on the shoreline or near the ocean you may have to evacuate due to the hazard of hurricane produced storm surge. Review coastal evacuation maps in your telephone white pages or visit our web site at www.honolulu.gov/DEM and follow the instructions on the Tsunami Map Viewer to quickly see if you are in a tsunami/hurricane evacuation zone.

Emergency Alert System (EAS):

Important official emergency information such as evacuation notification and shelter locations will be broadcast over all TV and radio stations statewide using the EAS. Should your power go out during an emergency such as a hurricane, it then becomes vitally important that each household have a battery operated radio and spare batteries on hand to receive emergency information. Newer hand-crank generator or solar powered radios are also a good option. EAS broadcasts for major coastal evacuations will be aired in conjunction with a three-minute sounding of all Outdoor Siren Warning Systems on O‘ahu.

Emergency Email and Text Message Alerts:

O‘ahu residents are encouraged to sign-up to receive emergency email, cellphone text messages and push alerts from the City and County of Honolulu by downloading the free HNL.info app from the App Store or Google Play. You can also register online at https://hnl.info/alerts/login.php HNL.info is also perfect for vacationers and out of town family or guests. Standard text messaging rates may apply depending on your wireless carrier and plan.

Preparing your home:

  • Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.
  • Be prepared to bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Be prepared to cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

Check insurance policies:

Remember that homeowners insurance alone will not cover hurricane damage.  You will need separate policies for hurricane as well as flood insurance to protect against damage from coastal flooding. You can buy flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Make sure to check and know what your existing insurance policies will or will not cover.
 
Non-English Speakers and Disabled:

If you have a family member who does not speak English or a family member who, due to a disability cannot receive emergency information readily, we highly recommend forming a core group of family or friends who can assist with translations or providing important emergency information as well as assisting with disaster preparedness actions and if needed, evacuation

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms:

Once a storm system crosses the 140-degree west longitude mark, it enters the Central Pacific area and would be in “Hawaiian” waters. Carefully monitor any hurricanes or tropical storms that develop or enter into Hawaiian waters until they safely pass our islands or dissipate.

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