City and County Emergency Shelter Operations to begin 24 hour activation on Sunday, July 26, 9 a.m.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell met with staff at the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) today to discuss the possible impacts of Hurricane Douglas. O‘ahu residents are asked to prepare for strong winds, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall, and potential flooding over the upcoming weekend.
The EOC will switch to a 24 hour schedule on Sunday, July 26.
“With a hurricane watch just issued for O‘ahu, all of our residents need to begin planning for the possible impacts from this storm,” said Mayor Caldwell. “It’s so important to have your supplies in place, and know where you plan to stay. This is especially true now, with a record number of COVID-19 cases on O‘ahu.”
Be prepared to evacuate if ordered to do so, especially if you live in:
o If you live in a coastal storm surge hazard zone. As the storm approaches, officials will provide clearer guidance on storm surge evacuation zones.
o Flood prone areas. (http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/FHAT/)
o Older homes (built pre-1995) on exposed ridgelines and on mountain slopes.
o Older “plantation” style single wall homes without foundations and pier and post foundations regardless of where they are located.
Where should I go if I evacuate?
Go to the homes of friends or relatives whose residence are not endangered, to facilities provided by your employer or church group, or as a last resort to a public shelter. Please note that shelters will not be opened automatically. Monitor local TV and radio for specific shelter locations and opening schedules.
Be aware that steel reinforced concrete buildings should provide adequate protection. If your building is multiple floors and / or is located in the coastal evacuation zone seek safety by moving to higher floors. Search out enclosed rooms, hallways, or emergency stairwells that have load-bearing walls and no windows.
If you do not have any other options, evacuate to the nearest hurricane evacuation shelter. While hurricane evacuation shelters offer some protection from high winds, flying debris, storm surge and flooding, they are intended to be a last resort option for residents and visitors without safer options to use - at their own risk. In almost all cases, the identified hurricane evacuation shelters HAVE NOT been designed or hardened for winds greater than a tropical storm. These shelters are, however, a safer option than remaining in areas prone to flooding, storm surge inundation, or in older homes with wood frames or single wall construction.
Evacuees should not expect personal care attendants or caregivers to be available at evacuation shelters. Only general assistance and accommodations will be provided. In addition, evacuation shelters DO NOT stock supplies. You must bring with you as much of your 14-Day Disaster Supply Kit as possible which includes food, water, medications, clothes, bedding, air mattresses/cots, and other emergency supplies. Due to COVID-19, please bring face coverings, detergent to wash them, hand sanitizer, and other sanitation products.
Household pets entering shelters must be securely leashed, or in a pet carrier/cage for safety. Owners must provide water and food for their pets, and will be expected to assist in the care of their animals.
COVID-19 Update: Please remember that in this moment the storm is the most immediate threat to your safety. Although the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still prevalent within our community, staying in your unsafe home poses a greater danger to your life.
Please consider evacuating to friends or family first, and as a last resort, a hurricane evacuation shelter. All public shelters will be instituting medical screening (temperature and wellness checks) upon check-in as well as applying social distancing standards to ensure the shelter is as safe as possible for evacuees as well as shelter operations staff.
The following list are the Oahu evacuation shelters for Hurricane Douglas. Although all shelters will accept pets, seven shelters on this list will be staffed by volunteers with the Hawaiian Humane Society. Shelter operations will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday, July 26. Individuals will be required to wear masks at all times during their stay at the respective shelter locations. Exceptions will be made for those with medical conditions.
While evacuation shelters offer some protection from high winds and flying debris, they are intended to be a last resort option for residents to use at their own risk. In almost all cases, the identified evacuation shelters HAVE NOT been designed or hardened for winds greater than a tropical storm (39 mph). These shelters are, however, a safer option than remaining in areas prone to flooding or storm surge inundation, on exposed ridge lines, or in older homes with wood frames or single wall construction. Whenever possible, the public should plan to shelter in place or stay with family or friends in homes outside of these hazard areas that were designed, built, or renovated to withstand anticipated conditions.
If anyone has questions about closures or city services, they are asked to visit oneoahu.org or call 768-CITY (2489). The call center will be open till 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 24. Then on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26 from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Cityʻs Department of Transportation Services is continuing to monitor Douglasʻ predicted path and windspeed for Oʻahu for the safety of our public transit operations. In light of the track of the storm, TheBus will be curtailing service at noon on Sunday. We advise people to plan accordingly and end their travels well before noon if they can.
While the Bus continues to operate we encourage Oʻahu residents to stay home and limit travel to essential trips only. The City will continue to monitor the weather and may make adjustments to service times as more information becomes available.
The most up-to-date and current TheBus and TheHandi-Van system status can be found at the top of the page at www.thebus.org and on DTSʻ Twitter @hnldts.
Expect wet and slippery conditions on all hiking trails, and high, dangerous surf conditions. The public is advised to refrain from hiking, ocean, and other outdoor activities that could require HFD personnel to rescue them.
Please advise the public not to call Fire Stations directly for information. Please to the City hotline, 768-CITY (2489).
STREET USAGE PERMITS
Holders of Street Usage Permits on city roads should prepare to remove unsecured traffic controls from permitted sites as practicable. The Department of Transportation Services (DTS) is contacting permit holders to advise them on required specific measures for the safety of the public, including the removals of Best Management Practices (BMP) equipment to aid in the drainage of potential storm water. For any questions related to Street Usage Permits, please call DTS Street Usage at (808) 768-8387.
On Monday the City Department of Facility Maintenance will be suspending contraflow coning operations. This will affect the a.m. Kalanianaole Hwy contraflow, along with Kapi‘olani/Ward Ave and p.m. Kapi‘olani contraflow coning operations.
Trash pickup (manual and 3-cart collection system) and all bulky pickup is canceled for Monday, July 27. All refuse convenience centers, transfer stations and Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill will be closed on Sunday, July 26 and Monday, July 27.
HOMELESS OUTREACH PLAN:
Homeless service providers have been doing outreach for the past few days to unsheltered clients especially in low-lying areas. We are working closely with shelter providers and Partners in Care to ensure transportation to evacuation shelters if needed.
DEPARTMENT OF PARK AND RECREATION:
All City beach parks are closed on Sunday, July 26. Further closure may be necessary depending on the updated forecast for Hurricane Douglas.
The Summer Fun Program is canceled for Monday, July 27. Further cancellation may be necessary depending on the updated forecast for Hurricane Douglas.
City camping permits are canceled from Friday, July 24 through Wednesday, July 29.
The following will be closed on Sunday, July 26 and Monday, July 27: all permitted park events and activities (picnics, sports events, competitions, etc.), the five Honolulu Botanical Gardens, City pools, People’s Open Markets, and the Koko Head Shooting Complex.
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU EMPLOYEES:
City and County employees will report to work as usual.
ZOO AND GOLF COURSES:
The Zoo and all golf courses be closed on Sunday and Monday.
KALĀKAUA OPEN STREET SUNDAY:
Kalākaua Open Street, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, July 26, has been canceled.
The Department of Facility Maintenance continues to clear streams and stream mouths across Oʻahu to minimize potential storm related impacts from Hurricane Douglas and forecasted heavy rain. On Thursday, July 23, 2020, DFM crews opened stream mouths at Kapakahi Stream and the Wai‘alae Major Drain. On Friday, July 24, DFM crews worked on:
1. ‘Ewa Lined Channel
2. Pokā‘i Bay Drainage Ditches
3. Ulehawa Stream
3. Ka‘elepulu Stream
In certain instances, stream mouths are cleared of sand and debris, but flooding may be influenced by other factors such as high tides, heavy rainfall exceeding the capacity of drain pipes and ditches, or roads and bridges clogged with flowing mud, debris, and tree limbs. In addition, the city does not have access to all parts of streams from the ocean to the back of valleys, which in some cases are inaccessible or on private property.
Residents are advised to secure any loose items outside their homes (including garbage cans and outdoor furniture) as these items may be blown into flowing water and ultimately contribute to localized flooding.
Take the time now to consider basic disaster preparedness and what actions you or your family will take in the event a hurricane threatens O‘ahu. Individuals, families and businesses should be prepared to be on their own for at least 14-days. Assemble basic supplies such as food, water, clothing, non-medical grade face coverings, sanitizing supplies, and important medications for a 14-day kit. Also, visit our website at http://www.honolulu.gov/dem for more disaster preparedness information and to access downloadable information sheets.
Be aware that if you live on the shoreline or near the ocean you may have to evacuate due to the hazard of hurricane produced storm surge. Review coastal evacuation maps in your telephone white pages or visit our web site at http://www.honolulu.gov/dem and follow the instructions on the Tsunami Map Viewer to quickly see if you are in a tsunami/hurricane evacuation zone.
Emergency Alert System (EAS):
Important official emergency information such as evacuation notification and shelter locations will be broadcast over all TV and radio stations statewide using the EAS. Should your power go out during an emergency such as a hurricane, it then becomes vitally important that each household have a battery operated radio and spare batteries on hand to receive emergency information. Newer hand-crank generator or solar powered radios are also a good option. EAS broadcasts for major coastal evacuations will be aired in conjunction with a three-minute sounding of all Outdoor Siren Warning Systems on O‘ahu.
Emergency and Community Information via Social Media/Online:
Like and Follow the Department of Emergency Management on Twitter at @Oahu_DEM and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OahuDEM. Additional preparedness information can also be found on our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM. Residents are also urged to follow Mayor Caldwell’s social media channels at: Twitter: @MayorKirkHNL; Facebook: facebook.com/MayorKirk; and Instagram: instagram.com/mayorkirkhnl;
Emergency Email and Text Message Alerts:
O‘ahu residents are encouraged to sign-up to receive emergency email, cellphone text messages and push alerts from the City and County of Honolulu by downloading the free HNL.info app from the App Store or Google Play.
Preparing your home:
Protect your property. De-clutter drains and gutters.
Consider emergency shutters. Review insurance policies.
Be prepared to bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
Be prepared to cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
Check insurance policies:
Remember that homeowners insurance alone will not cover hurricane damage. You will need separate policies for hurricane as well as flood insurance to protect against damage from coastal flooding. You can buy flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program. Make sure to check and know what your existing insurance policies will or will not cover.
Non-English Speakers and Disabled:
If you have a family member who does not speak English or a family member who, due to a disability cannot receive emergency information readily, we highly recommend forming a core group of family or friends who can assist with translations or providing important emergency information as well as assisting with disaster preparedness actions and if needed, evacuation
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms:
Once a storm system crosses the 140-degree west longitude mark, it enters the Central Pacific area and would be in “Hawaiian” waters. Carefully monitor any hurricanes or tropical storms that develop or enter into Hawaiian waters until they safely pass our islands or dissipate.