Mayor urges residents to prepare for hurricane season

| June 8, 2018 | 0 Comments
Mayor Kirk Caldwell, city officials and meteorologist John Bravender provide information about hurricane season during a press conference, June 4, 2018. (Courtesy photo)

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, city officials and meteorologist John Bravender provide information about hurricane season during a press conference, June 4, 2018. (Courtesy photo)

HONOLULU — At a press conference, Monday (June 4, 2018), Mayor Kirk Caldwell was joined by city officials and Meteorologist John Bravender of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to remind O‘ahu residents and visitors that we are now in hurricane season, and everyone should take the necessary precautions to prepare.

Hurricane season began on June 1 and runs through November 30. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is predicting three to six tropical cyclones and an 80-percent chance of near or above-normal tropical cyclone activity.

“Due to the unpredictability of hurricanes and tropical storms all residents, visitors and businesses should take the time now to discuss hurricane preparedness and disaster preparedness plans, even though the 2018 outlook seems moderate,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Remember, it only takes one tropical storm or hurricane impacting the state to cause major problems.”

Mayor Caldwell and the city’s Department of Emergency Management urge all residents to know the following:
 
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.  The important thing to remember is that a fast storm system moving at 12 mph can reach Hawai‘i in four to five days. That is not much time to prepare. Carefully monitor any hurricanes or tropical storms that develop or enter into Hawaiian waters until they safely pass our islands or dissipate.

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 and Community Information via Social Media/Online
Like and Follow the Department of Emergency Management on Twitter at @Oahu_DEM and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OahuDEM. Additional preparedness information can also be found on our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM. Residents are also urged to follow Mayor Caldwell’s social media channels at: Twitter: @MayorKirkHNL; Facebook: facebook.com/MayorKirk; Instagram: instagram.com/mayorkirkhnl; and YouTube: youtube.com/MayorKirkHNL.
 
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.

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.

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.

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Category: Community Relations, Leadership, News

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