Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

Our Hurricane Season lasts from June 1 through November 30. We recommend that all Hawaii residents be prepared for tropical storms and the problems they can cause — from high winds, rain and surf surges to power outages, flooding, structure damage and mandatory evacuations. Be prepared well in advance of an actual hurricane. Know what you need and how to plan.

Here are the stages of hurricane development and what you should do:

Basic Preparedness

Before the threat of a hurricane happens here are basic things to prepare:

  • Know where to go in case of evacuation.
  • Put together a go-to bag with a disaster supply kit including flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medication and copies of critical information in waterproof container, should you need to evacuate.
  • If you are not in an area that is likely to be evacuated plan for adequate supplies in case of loss of power, and food and water for several days.
  • Make a family emergency plan.
  • Plan for your pets. For more information click here.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts by text or email.

Preparing your Home

Before hurricane season, you can prepare your home to best withstand a storm:

  • Trim or remove damaged trees and branches that could affect the structure in high winds.
  • Check gutters and downspouts, repair or clear if necessary.
  • Consider retro-fitting to secure and reinforce the roof.
  • Decide if a generator is necessary for your household.
  • Keep supplies and tools on hand that may be needed to cover windows.
Hurricane Watch

A ‘watch’ means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.

  • Stay tuned to your local news for storm updates, as well as information regarding possible evacuations.
  • Fuel up cars.
  • Review your stock of food, water and other supplies in your hurricane survival / evacuation kit.
  • Determine additional needs for children, elderly, disabled and pets.
  • Collect and store all loose outdoor objects. Hurricane winds can turn these objects into missiles.
  • Take down outdoor canopies, if possible.
  • Use empty plastic containers as ‘ice blocks,’ filling them with water and placing in freezer.
  • Use the telephone only for emergencies.
Hurricane Warning

A ‘warning’ means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours or less.

  • Stay tuned to local news for close monitoring of the storm, and instructions for evacuations.
  • Securely board up or shutter all windows, if possible.
  • If you live on a low-lying ground, or in tsunami or flood zones, be prepared to evacuate.
  • Leave when instructed to by officials, or when threatened by rising water.
  • If you are not likely to be evacuated, stay at home and off the roads so that others may more easily evacuate and finish hurricane preparations. Let friends and family know where you are.
  • Sterilize bath tub and plastic containers and fill them with fresh drinking water. Plan about one gallon per person per day.
  • Turn refrigerators and freezers to the coldest possible settings and keep them closed if the electricity goes out.
  • Turn off electricity to pool and add extra chlorine.
  • Charge cell phones, but use the telephone only for emergencies.

Disaster Supplies Kit

We recommend you keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least 7 days. Assemble a supply kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags or covered trash containers.

  • A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
  • A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
  • A change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
  • A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
  • A list of family contacts and physicians.
  • Cash and credit cards.
  • Candles and matches.
  • Sanitary supplies.

Family Disaster Plan

  • Pick two places to meet:
    • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
    • Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.
  • Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call or text if separated by disaster. (It is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area.)
  • Discuss what to do in an evacuation, where to go whether an evacuation site or other.
  • Plan ahead how to take care of your pets. Determine sites where they are allowed or shelters nearby.
  • Keep family records in a water and fire-proof container.

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