Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to prepare for Hurricane Douglas
With the National Weather Service closely monitoring the oncoming category 3 Hurricane Douglas, now is the time for preparation to avoid long lines at gas stations, grocery stores, and ATMs across Hawai’i.
Hurricane Douglas is currently moving on a consistent track towards the islands and is projected to reach the Hawaiʻi island sometime Saturday night.
“Hurricane season brings the very real threat of high winds, rain, storm surge and potential flooding to the Hawaiian Islands, and Hurricane Douglas could bring significant impacts even if it doesn’t hit us directly. I urge Hawai’i’s residents and businesses to prepare now. Make an emergency plan, talk about it with your families and employees, and gather supplies to ensure that our communities are resilient,” said Governor David Ige.
The Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) reminds residents to prepare an “emergency kit” of a minimum of 14 days of food, water, and other supplies that should also include face masks and hand sanitizer since we will be simultaneously mitigating against the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
“We advocate for a 14-day recommendation because of Hawai’i’s location in the Pacific during a disaster,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of HI-EMA. “Everyone who plans ahead and prepares an emergency kit helps not only themselves, but they also help their entire community deal with a disaster.”
The COVID-19 pandemic also poses an additional challenge during a hurricane: the issue of shelter.
“We’ll be managing both incidents at the same time, but we urge residents to take into account that due to the necessary physical distancing measures put into place by the pandemic, shelters will not be able to operate at their usual capacity. Occupancy in shelters will be lower,” said Meyers.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and just one storm can result in devastating potential damage to residents and their property. It can also result in catastrophic destruction to our economy due to the isolated location of Hawai’i. With the possible shutdown of ports, goods and services could be weeks or even months away.
HI-EMA suggests keeping your family’s supplies fresh for the entire season by rotating, consuming, and replenishing them over time.
HI-EMA also recommends that residents and visitors take the following actions in preparation for a possible hurricane or tropical cyclone.
• Know if your home is in an inundation zone, flood zone, or susceptible to high winds and other hazards. • Sign up for local notification alerts (i.e., HNL.INFO). • Talk with family members and develop a clear understanding of what you will do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Prepare an action plan that includes details such as whether your family intends to shelter in place or go to a friend’s or relative’s house. • Build an emergency kit containing up to 14 days of food, water, medicine and other personal hygiene including masks and hand sanitizers. • Assess and consider investing in flood insurance. • Consider retrofitting your house or investing in hurricane clips.