Hurricane Season is on our doorstep and runs from June 1 – November 30. And while The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is predicting an 80% chance of a “near to below normal” Hurricane season, it’s important to remember that it only takes one to severely impact the State of Hawaii. Last year was also predicted as a “near to below normal” season and we all found ourselves on the edge of our seats as Hurricane Douglas barreled toward the Hawaiian Islands only to take a path more North just barely missing the State of Hawaii.
Because of our location in the center of the Pacific and our surrounding warm waters, Hawaii is at an especially high risk for nature’s wrath when it comes to Hurricanes. However, a little preparedness can go a long way to avoid unnecessary destruction should a Hurricane make landfall this Hurricane season. So avoid the stress of long lines and low inventory created by a pending storm and make sure to start your preparation kit and plan today!
HURRICANE SUPPLY KIT
Your disaster supply kit should contain enough of the following items to last for a minimum of 14 days. These items include:
- Water: One gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation use. Water is bulky but it’s definitely not something to skimp on in case of an emergency.
- Food: Nonperishable food that does not require cooking. Also “survival foods” such as peanut butter, protein shakes, dried fruits and nuts, canned foods – Vienna sausage, spam, sardines, beans.
- Gas Stove: Stock up on propane tanks for cooking and heating in the event of a power outage.
- Eating utensils: Plates, mess kits, forks and chopsticks. Nonelectrical can opener is a must.
- Radio: Battery-powered or hand-crank radio with NOAA weather alert.
- Light: Flashlight or portable fluorescent light.
- Batteries: Have plenty and check them annually.
- First-aid kit: Get a well-stocked kit. Consider enrolling in a first-aid certification course.
- Whistle: It’s important for signaling for help because the sound carries much farther than the human voice.
- Dust Mask and Gloves: Stock up on personal protective equipment like N95 Masks and Sturdy work gloves
- Sanitation items: Including moist towelettes, heavy-duty garbage bags, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, baking soda or kitty litter to absorb odors, gloves and plastic ties.
- Maps: Local area maps.
- Tools: Including a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, and duct tape.
- Prescriptions: Including special medications, glasses and medical devices.
- Pet supplies: Food, extra water and medication.
- Miscellaneous items: Including infant formula, diapers, incontinence supplies and feminine products.
- Copies of personal documents: Medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies
HURRICANE TIPS FOR HOMEOWNERS:
Once you have your Hurricane kit is secured, it’s important to continue preparation with the following tips to ensure you and your family are prepared and adequately covered in the event of a Hurricane making landfall during the Pacific Hurricane Season.
- Communication plan with Family: Meet with your family and ensure a communication plan is in place and that if there is a need for evacuation, everyone is clear on where to go.
- Adequate Insurance Coverage and an Electronic Copy of Your Policy: Make sure your home has adequate coverage in the event of a catastrophe like a Hurricane. For example, Hurricane policies could only cover damage caused by wind so if your home was impacted by flooding in the event of a hurricane, it could potentially not be covered without the right policy in place. Having an electronic version of your policy is also important so that it is easily accessible if physical policy is destroyed in the storm.
- Maintain trees and foliage: Cut back all trees and vegetation over or near your home or powerlines that service your home
- Pre-cut plywood window coverings: For window board up purposes, have plywood cut to your windows’ size that are ready to be installed in the event of a hurricane warning.
- Ensure gutters around your home are clear of debris.
WHAT TO DO IN A HURRICANE WARNING:
In the event of an issued hurricane warning, you’ll want to immediately ensure the following:
- Turn refrigerator and freezer settings to the coldest levels. Freeze water in plastic containers
- Bring in any outdoor objects that could become projectiles in high winds (Mailboxes, garbage cans, lawn furniture and tools. Anchor anything that cannot be brought inside)
- Cover all windows and doors
- Keep all windows closed during the storm
- Disconnect natural gas to individual appliances at the supply valves near each unit. Do not turn off the main gas line. Disconnect propane gas to individual appliances
- Remove external antennas
- Remove valuable hanging photos from walls
- Wedge sliding glass doors with a bar.
- Lower the water level in your pool. Turn off the electricity to the pool and cover the pump equipment with waterproof material.
- Maintain a “safe room” in your home and keep your hurricane kit handy in this designated area. Other essentials for this room are sturdy shoes and something like a pillow or mattress to cover your head as well as fire extinguisher.