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Hurricanes, Volcanoes, and Missiles, oh my!

by Roseann Freitas | Jun 6, 2019 9:06:42 AM

Hurricane Lane, Fissure 8, and the false North Korea Missile
attack set the tone for 2018 in Hawaii. Hurricane Lane was heading for Oahu,
slowed down and fizzled.  As a resident
of Oahu, I was relieved.  The false North
Korea Missile attack was 38 minutes of fear and confusion, which highlighted we
are unprepared.  For the residents
impacted by the Kilauea eruption, their nightmare became a reality with over
700 homes lost. 

With the start of hurricane season, now is the time to plan.
Because Hawaii’s location is so remote, over 2,300 miles from California, being
prepared is critical.  Hawaii Emergency
Management Agency recommends a 14-day supply of water, food, and
medication.  

What do you need to do to be ready? 

Start with a communication plan for each member of your family.  If an event happens, how will you contact each other?  If phones are down, select a location to gather and plan for 2-3 different sites, as the first location may be inaccessible.

Have an evacuation plan.  How will you get out of your home, and where will you go?  Coordinate assistance for any family members who need additional time or special medical needs.  Don’t forget the family pet and know the location of the pet-friendly shelters.

Make sure your insurance coverage is current, as most insurance companies will not issue a policy during a storm.

Stock up on supplies to last 14 days. Here is a partial list
of items:

o     Water, one
gallon per person per day

o    non-perishable
food items

o    batteries for
flashlights and radio

o    first aid kit

o    medicine

o    baby formula/food

o    pet food

If the islands were to take a direct hit, we could be
without many supplies for weeks. 

The time to get your supplies is now, not during the storm
warning.  During a crisis, quantities are
limited, so don’t wait until you need it, stock up now. 

Business owners need to plan accordingly, as well. After a
major disaster, an estimated 25% of businesses will not re-open, according to
the Institute for Business and Home Safety.  Assess your business location and figure out
the risks associated with an emergency. 
Compile a list of office furniture, equipment, and supplies and their
value.  Backup up needed files to
continue your business operation and store the backup information in a separate
location from your office.

Hawaiian Electric has an Emergency Preparedness Handbook in
5 languages and one for the Keiki. 
https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/safety-and-outages/storm-center/emergency-preparedness-handbook

Hawaii residents are familiar with hurricanes, tsunamis,
tropical storms, and volcanos each year. 
But that doesn’t mean we can be complacent. Being prepared for hurricane
season is essential, especially for a state that is in the middle of the
Pacific Ocean.  

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