City, State urge continued vigilance ahead of Tropical Storm Olivia

| September 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

City and County of Honolulu
News Release

Prepared for a hurricane?

Prepared for a hurricane?

HONOLULU — Following a statewide Video Teleconference call Monday evening (Sept. 10), the National Weather Service has advised on the continued possibility of tropical storm force winds affecting the islands. With O‘ahu now under a tropical storm warning, there is still potential not just for major flooding, but also damaging winds.

“There is little doubt that Tropical Storm Olivia will impact our state, the question now is just how much rain and wind will we inevitably see. Although it’s encouraging that the storm has been downgraded from a hurricane, we still need to stay alert, particularly since the storm has continued on a slightly more northerly track than initially anticipated.” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We will continue to prepare for the onset of this storm, as we have seen just how much damage a tropical storm, or even its remnants, can bring.

No matter the track Olivia eventually takes, the effects could extend far from the center of this system. We need to prepare for these effects, and continue to stay vigilant. Depending on tomorrow’s 8 a.m. update with the National Weather Service, the city will evaluate whether 8 preselected shelters will open, and what further actions need to be taken as tropical storm Olivia approaches O‘ahu.”

There is a continued threat for tropical storm force winds to O‘ahu as Hurricane Olivia is forecast to be a strong tropical as it approaches the state. The latest track forecast has shifted northward, with warmer water contributing to the possibility of gradual weakening through tomorrow. The greatest wind threat is on the north side of the track, affecting Maui to Oahu. Rainfall from 10 to 15 inches is possible, with an isolated maximum of 20 inches of rain. As of this morning the storm is moving 10 at miles per hour, with sustained winds of 70 mph, and is less than 400 miles East-Northeast of Hilo.

Another briefing on Hurricane Olivia will be held at the city’s Emergency Operations Center at 8 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11.

Residents and visitors can track Hurricane Olivia directly by visiting the Central Pacific Hurricane Center website at: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/

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.

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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Category: Community, Safety

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