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General Preparedness for Hurricane Lane

todayAugust 21, 2018

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GENERAL PREPAREDNESS

Fourteen (14)-day Emergency Supply Kit

With Hawaii’s remoteness it could be as long as two weeks or more before a full disaster relief operation can be initiated. Hawaii residents need to be prepared to take care of all of their emergency needs and those of their family for at least 14-days following a major island or state-wide disaster. Your emergency supplies kit should contain enough of the following items to last for a minimum of 14-days:

Water – One gallon of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation (1/2 gallon per person per day for drinking purposes only).

Food – Non-perishable food that does not require cooking such as chunky peanut butter, protein/nutrient bars, protein shakes and/or dried fruits/nuts. Popular local foods such as spam, corned beef and vienna sausages are great comfort foods but contain high sodium and may be heavy to carry should you need evacuate.

Eating Utensils – Plates, mess kits, forks and chop sticks. Don’t forget a non-electric can opener for canned foods.

Radio – NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM Radio (battery, hand-crank or solar)

Light – Flashlight (battery, hand-crank or solar) and / or portable fluorescent lights

Spare batteries – Check annually (keep batteries out of radios and flashlights and in a dry area to avoid corrosion).

First Aid – Get a good kit with non-latex gloves and consider enrolling in a certified first aid, CPR and AED course.

Whistle – Important for signaling for help. A whistle carries much farther than the human voice and uses less energy than yelling.

Dust Mask – Helps to filter contaminated air.

Sanitation – Moist towelettes, toilet paper, baby wipes, 5-gallon bucket (if need to evacuate), heavy duty garbage bags, baking soda or kitty litter to absorb odors and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

Personal Toiletry – Baby wipes, mouth wash, tooth paste/brush, deodorant, feminine products, incontinent supplies.

Tools – Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, duct tape, rope.

Important Document – Picture ID, Medical Records, Insurance and Bank Records, Certificates (i.e. Birth, Marriage, Divorce), Deeds, Wills and Healthcare Directives, Family Photos, Local area maps. (Download the FEMA Emergency Financial First Aid Kit https://bit.ly/2Pcvwtl)

Medication and Prescription – Special medications, spare glasses, hearing aid batteries, listing of all prescriptions and medical device serial numbers.

Baby and Children – Infant formula, diapers, kid friendly snacks, toys and games that do not require power or batteries.

Pet Supplies – Pet food, water, leak proof crate / container, leash, ID, medications, and toy.

How do I prepare for high winds?

• Trim dead wood and weak/overhanging branches from all trees. Trimming and maintaining trees and brushes in advance is key as you want to avoid recently cut trimmings to become projectiles during a high wind event.

• Certain trees and bushes are vulnerable to high winds and any dead tree near a home can become a hazard. Consider investing the time and/or money to remove such hazards from your property.

• Investing in some type of protection for your home’s glass windows and doors such as treated ply wood, storm panels, etc. If you purchase treated ply wood, recommend you pre-measure, pre-cut and pre-drill and label each panel covering (i.e. Downstairs Bedroom, Panel 1 of 2). Refer to the U.H. Manoa Sea Grant Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards available online (http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards).

• For homes built before 1995, investing in hurricane clips and straps to secure your roof to the support beams down through the foundation of the home is recommended. Refer to the U.H. Manoa Sea Grant Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards available online (http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards).

• Know where to secure lawn furniture, trash cans and other unsecured outside objects that could become projectiles in high winds (i.e. Bring them into your home or garage or for heavier items consider corralling them up by tying them together and securing them.)

• Detached carports and open garages are at risk from high wind damage. Consider adding strapping to secure carports.

• Have flashlights, battery operated radio and spare batteries on-hand in case of a power outage.

• Drivers of large trucks and SUV’s should be prepared for sudden gusts of wind which could cause momentary loss of vehicle control. Stay off roads if at all possible.

• Listen to local TV and radio for safety instructions from the Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

• Should you have a high wind related emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.

What do I need to do before a hurricane or tropical storm strikes?

• Have major electronics moved off the ground, unplugged or plugged in a surge protector strips.

• Backup important electronic files onto an external drive or cloud regularly.

• Have mobile cell phones charged and have an external charger for each.

• Keep your family together if possible and minimize travel until the storm system is no longer a threat.

• Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.

• Remove and safely store any items outdoors such a lawn furniture that could become airborne.

• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

• Determine how and where to secure your boat if you own one.

• Consider building or identifying a safe room in your home where you can shelter in place.

• Do not leave your windows open at all. They should remain shut with drapes securely closed.

Should I tape my windows?

Masking tape or duct tape on your windows will not stop storm driven debris from breaking the glass. The only reliable method for securing your windows from damage is to shield them from the outside with plywood (minimum 5/8” thick), window shutters or other window protection systems.

Should I open my windows to keep the air pressure from damaging my home?

Definitely not. This is an old urban legend that will not protect your home during a hurricane or tropical storm. Keeping all of your doors and windows closed and secured is the only way to prevent storm winds and rains from entering the structure and causing damage or catastrophic failure.

How can I get emergency information?

The State of Hawaii has a robust Outdoor Warning Siren System; however, with population and development growth more sirens are being planned to be installed; however, the Outdoor Warning Siren System is just one way to receive emergency alerts. It is strongly recommended to have multiple methods of receiving emergency information. These methods include:

• Local TV and Radio Broadcasts

• Emergency Alert System (EAS) message notifications broadcast over local TV, Radio and NOAA AM/FM Weather Radio

• Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system by having it set in the “On” mode on Smart Phone devices

• NOAA AM/FM Weather Radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)

• HNL.info push alerts/email/SMS text messaging via app download from the App Store or Google Play Store or via online registration at https://hnl.info/alerts/register.php (Each County has their own local notification system. HNL.info is only for Honolulu.)

• Public Address Systems broadcast by local emergency responders

In addition, consider a 2-way Family Radio Service (FRS) radio or acquiring an Amateur (HAM) Radio License to not only be able to receive emergency information but to be able to communicate emergency information. HAM Radio is the communication system that the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) along with the City and State Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) utilizes when landlines and cell phones are inoperable.

Local TV and Radio Broadcasting

Emergency information such as evacuation instructions may be issued over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) via TV and Radio.

Disaster Preparedness, what should I know?

Due to Hawaii’s isolation and our large resident, military and visitor population it could be many days before 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 non-perishable food, water, clothing and important medications. Go to the DEM website at www.honolulu.gov/dem for more disaster preparedness information and to access downloadable information sheets.

I hear that heavy rains may cause flooding. What should I do to prepare?

• Know the meanings and effects of National Weather Service issued messages of Flood Advisory, Flash Flood Watch and Flash Flood Warning. Visit the National Weather Service on-line at http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/ for more information and current weather advisory status. Call the National Weather Service at 808-973-4380 for recorded weather information, and monitor local TV and radio for the latest updates.

• Learn the safest evacuation route from your home or place of business to high ground should you have to evacuate in a hurry.

• If your area floods frequently, keep emergency materials on hand such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting or tarp, and lumber.

• Stay away from areas along streams or near drainage canals/ditches. These areas can become deadly during periods of heavy rainfall.

• If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as possible. Floodwaters can rise rapidly and sweep a car (and its occupants) away. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles. DO NOT drive through flooded areas in your vehicle as parts of the road may already be washed out or the water may be much deeper than it appears. Turn around, don’t drown!

• Consider canceling or postponing outdoor activities especially hiking in mountains and valleys. A small stream can become a raging torrent within minutes if previous rainfall has been substantial. Don’t cross until the flash flood subsides.

• Heavy rains cause runoff, which attracts more sharks. Avoid swimming immediately after a heavy storm, especially in murky waters.

• If you experience a flood related emergency call 9-1-1 immediately!

Written by: KNKR News

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