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The National Weather Service urges everyone in Hawaii to be prepared for hurricane season which runs from June 1 - November 30 every year. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki was responsible for five deaths on Kauai and one death on Oahu. Unprecedented destruction of property occurred on the Garden Island with an estimated $2.4 billion in damage. Planning ahead could mean the difference between life and death.

Jim Weyman, director of the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, said, "It is important to remember that it only takes one hurricane moving in the right direction to cause extensive damage to any of the islands. All of the Hawaiian Islands are at risk for hurricanes. People must be equally vigilant and prepared each and every hurricane season."

Be Prepared BEFORE the Hurricane Season:

  • Know the history of high wave and storm surge, high winds, and heavy rains and flash flooding in your area.
  • Learn the location of officially designated civil defense shelters for your area.
  • Check the condition of emergency equipment, such as flashlights and battery-powered radios. Buy a NOAA Weather Radio, available at most electronic stores, for 24-hour weather information direct from the National Weather Service.
  • Ensure that enough non-perishable food and water is on hand to last for at least two weeks.
  • Prepare a survival kit for home use or to take to a shelter. Use the list in your telephone book as a guideline.
  • Be aware of the structural limitations of your home and reinforce your home against high winds.
  • Obtain and store materials such as plywood and plastic necessary to secure your home.
  • Check your home for loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Cut weak branches and trees that could fall or bump against the house. When trimming, try to create a channel through the foliage to the center of the tree to allow for air flow.
  • Determine where to move your boat in an emergency.
  • Review your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage.
  • Individuals with special needs should plan ahead for their appropriate medical conditions.

Ultimately, everyone must take personal responsibility. Everyone should have an action plan in the event that a hurricane strikes the islands. Each member of the family should know who to contact and where to meet in the event of an emergency.

For further information and assistance, contact the National Weather Service, the local civil defense agency, or the local American Red Cross chapter.