As we all know, Hawaii weather is very dynamic and can change for the worse in a very short period. With hurricane season in Hawaii running from June 1 through November 30, proper preparation is important to ensure the safety of you and your family.
The National Weather Service will issue a Hurricane Watch if there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 36 hours. A Hurricane Warning is issued when sustained winds of 74 mph or more are expected in a specified area in 24 hours or less. A Hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or high waves continue, even though winds may be less than 74 mph.
In the event of a hurricane, it is recommended to be prepared and assembly your Disaster Supply Kit. Non-perishable food, water, supplies and equipment should be assembled in one central location. (For a detailed list, see the corresponding box on this page).
Create a Family Disaster Plan. In case of evacuation, make plans in advance to stay with friends or relatives who live inland or on higher ground. Learn the recommended evacuation routes from your home. Local broadcast stations or authorities will give the safest routes or to learn them ahead of time, contact your local emergency management office. Program important numbers into each family member's cellular phones and make a list of valuable possessions.
When a Hurricane Watch is issued for your area, check your Disaster Supply Kit and replenish anything that may be missing from your kit. Check and restock your supply of water if necessary. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas and is ready to go or if you have made arrangements for a ride, contact that person to reconfirm. Gather emergency papers in your home such as birth and marriage certificates, wills, insurance policies, deeds, etc. Place them in a waterproof container with your non-perishable food supply or put them in your safe deposit box.
For senior citizens, store at least a two-week supply of any medicines you may take. Also, be sure to have an extra pair of eyeglasses as well as extra hearing aid batteries.
If a hurricane is about to strike and you have not reached an emergency shelter, emergency procedures include: taping or boarding up windows (or installing storm shutters), stay indoors and away from windows (even secured ones), shut off your main gas valve and the main power switch, and don't use your telephone or vehicles except in an emergency.
Make sure all objects on your lawn or patio are properly secured so that they cannot be picked up and carried away during high winds. Items such as: lawn furniture, garbage cans, garden tools, toys, signs, and other items can be very harmful and become missile-like weapons during high winds.
And lastly, ensuring the safety of all your loved ones also means making sure your pets are safe. Make sure your pets have received all their vaccinations. In case of an evacuation, pet shelters may require proof of vaccinations. Keep a current photograph of your pet as well as a collar with identification and a leash. Have a properly sized pet carrier for each animal. A proper pet carrier should be large enough for your animal to stand and turn around in.