Storm Preparations

Hawaiian Living

Sunrise at Kahala BeachThe hurricane season in the Islands is in full force.  It started June 1st and lasts until December.  There hasn’t been a hurricane that has hit any of the Islands for 22 years. But, today the Big Island and Maui are under “tropical storm watch” courtesy of “Guillermo”.

Here are a few tips that travelers and locals can use to help prepare for this predicted busy hurricane season:

– Cash is important.  Expect that all electricity will be limited to generators and that means computer systems will not function at full capacity. It’s risky to trust credit/debit card transactions during power outages and storms.

– Listen for any civil defense alarms.  If you hear the alarms, check your radios, phones, televisions, or hotel for current information.  (*NOTE: There is monthly alarm testing that happens on the first of each month, or the next business day if the first falls on a holiday or weekend.) This actually just happened for this current storm.

– Stay out of the ocean!  Locals, you know better…Tourists are the worst at following directions.  All I can say is: Turn around, don’t drown!

– Tourists are actually in a better position if there is a storm.  Hotels have generators, food, water, communications, and security. Locals will have to stock up on some of those things, plus: gas for the vehicles and generators, batteries, toilet paper, first aid supplies, tarps, duct tape…Shoots, I don’t have a landline at my house, I would have to go down the street to one of the neighbors’ house to find a landline!

– Don’t panic.  For some, it’s easier said than done.  Some locals tend to go a little overboard and not without cause.  If the power is knocked out, no worries, but if the container ships cannot off-load during a storm, supplies can be limited for a week or so. This is when the panic sets in.

Hence the toilet paper mentioned above.  Even if the containers are already in port, you cannot unload paper products in the rain.  So, quite a few years back, during a particularly rainy storm,  toilet paper was running out in the stores.  Can you imagine Costco and Sam’s Club running out of toilet paper, much less the grocery and drug stores?

– One last thing, the refrigerator will keep food cold for about 8 – 12 hours, if you don’t constantly open the doors.  And perishable food will last 3.5 to 4 hours at temperatures above 40 F.

This is an important time to live and love with the aloha spirit, so that we can all be prepared and safe during hurricane season and the storms that come with it.