Hurricane season in the Central Pacific officially runs from June 1 to November 30, but tropical cyclones can occur outside that time of the year. The Hawaiian Islands are susceptible to tropical storms, with several such as Iniki (1992), Iwa (1982), and Lane (2018) having caused major damage.
Are you prepared?
Here’s a checklist of items that will help you stay safe in the event of a hurricane:
[ ] Keep an Emergency Kit handy. The kit should include drinking water (at least one gallon per person, per day); non-perishable and easy to prepare food; flashlights; extra batteries; a First Aid kit; medicine; personal hygiene items; a cell phone with charger; a can opener; family contact information; important documents; bedding supplies; and cash.
[ ] Trim or remove any damaged trees or limbs before a hurricane arrives. Secure your rain gutters and downspouts. Clear any debris or clogged areas that may cause water damage to your property.
[ ] You may want to consider purchasing a portable generator to use during possible power outages. If you do, remember to keep it and any other alternative power sources outside (at least 20 feet away from windows and doors). Protect these power sources from moisture. Do NOT try to power your home wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
[ ] Sign up for emergency alerts and warnings. Plan alternative shelter options and form a family communication plan. Plan an evacuation route. Be familiar with local emergency plans. You should know where to go and how to get there in the event of flooding.
[ ] Stay tuned to local emergency wireless alerts, TV or radio for weather updates and possible evacuation orders.
[ ] Know the differences among the various hurricane categories. Remember, Category 1 hurricanes carry winds of up to 95 miles per hour and can damage poorly constructed older homes. Category 2 hurricanes (up to 110 mph winds) may damage building roofs, doors and windows, with considerable damage to poorly constructed or termite-infested homes. A Category 3 hurricane (up to 129 mph winds) will cause some structural damage to even well-built small residences. A Category 4 hurricane carries winds up to 155 miles an hour and can cause extensive damage to non-concrete roofs and complete failures of many roof structures, windows and doors (especially unprotected and unreinforced ones). Wooden and metal structures may be severely damaged or destroyed. Extreme wind gusts may also cause considerable damage to glass structures due to flying debris and explosive pressure forces. Hurricane Iniki in 1992 was a Category 4 hurricane. A Category 5 hurricane carries winds higher than 156 miles per hour and can cause extensive or total destruction of non-concrete residences. Expect flooding and major damage to lower floors near the shoreline.
Keep your radio tuned to ESPN Honolulu (92.7 FM & 1420 AM) and CBS 1500 AM for the latest weather information. Plus, we’ll bring you live updates from Hawaii News Now.