June 20, 2017

Hurricane Season is Here, Are You Prepared?

Are you prepared if Lanai is in the path of a hurricane? The 2017 hurricane season forecast for the Central Pacific region, where the state of Hawaii lies, is normal with four to five hurricanes predicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Why Preparation is Important

For Lanai residents, a hurricane disaster kit is vital. If a tropical cyclone hits Lanai, it may be necessary to evacuate immediately with little to no time to gather or shop for supplies.

Following a hurricane, you and your loved ones may need to survive until disaster relief workers are able to reach you. Additionally, a severe weather event could result in a delay to the weekly food and supply barge from Oahu.

Hurricane Disaster Kit Checklist

A hurricane disaster supply kit should contain enough food, water, and other supplies for seven days. Gather and store the following items in an easily accessible location:

  • Water (minimum of 2 quarts per person per day)
  • Seven-day supply of non-perishable, ready-to-eat food
  • Portable radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Candles
  • Waterproof matches or lighter
  • First aid kit and any special medication
  • Manual can opener
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Change of clothing for each family member
  • Personal hygiene, sanitary supplies and diapers
  • Cooler and blue ice packs

In the wake of a severe weather event, such as a hurricane, basic services like electricity, gas and water may be unavailable. A hurricane survival kit should also include items to cope without functioning utilities, including a camp stove and lantern and fuel.

Preparing Your Home

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage not only to coastlines but also to inland areas hundreds of miles offshore. These severe weather events have the ability to produce heavy rainfall and strong winds that exceed 155 miles per hour. As a result, floods and flying debris can be destructive and deadly. To prepare your home for an impending storm:

  • Tie down or store loose objects
  • Store propane tanks
  • Bring potted plants into the house
  • Prune back plants and trees
  • Remove and store lanai furniture
  • Unplug electric appliances not in use
  • Shutter or board all windows and glass doors
  • Wedge sliding doors at top
  • Gather insurance documents and place in waterproof containers
  • Secure loose roof materials with roofing cement or sealant

Don’t wait for a severe storm warning, begin preparing your hurricane disaster kit today. Most items on the checklist can be found at Richard’s Market or at one of the local grocery or hardware stores on Lanai.

For more information on hurricane preparedness in Maui County, call the Maui Civil Defense Agency at 808-270-7285 or visit their website to download a free emergency preparedness packet.

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