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ACTIONS TO TAKE WHEN A HURRICANE NEARS HAWAII

All of Hawaii's citizens should know what to do during hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings. Watches and warnings are prepared for the Hawaiian Islands by the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. When watches and warnings are issued, people should closely monitor radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins of the storm's progress and instructions from civil defense authorities. Jim Weyman, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said, "Although you and your family may have never experienced a hurricane, don't be complacent! It's not a matter of if a hurricane will occur, but when one will occur. All of the Hawaiian Islands are at risk for a hurricane and we should all know what actions to take."


For the Central Pacific Ocean starting with the 2009 hurricane season, a Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch means hurricane/tropical storm conditions are possible in the specificed area of the Watch, usually within 48 hours.

When a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watch is issued:

  • Fuel and service family vehicles.
  • Prepare to cover all windows and door openings with boards, shutters or other shielding materials.
  • Check food and water supplies. Have clean, air-tight containers on hand to store at least two weeks of drinking water (14 gallons per person), and stock up on canned provisions. Keep a small cooler with frozen gel packs handy for packing refrigerated items.
  • Check prescription medicines - obtain at least 10 days to 2 weeks supply.
  • Stock up on extra batteries for radios, flashlights, and lanterns.
  • Store and secure outdoor lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects, such as garbage cans and garden tools.
  • Check and replenish first-aid supplies.
  • Have on hand an extra supply of cash.


For the Central Pacific Ocean starting with the 2009 hurricane season, a Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning means hurricane/tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area of the Warning, usually within 36 hours.

When a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued:

  • Follow instructions issued by civil defense. Leave immediately if ordered to do so.
  • Complete preparation activities, such as boarding up windows and storing loose objects.
  • Evacuate areas that might be affected by storm surge flooding. If evacuating, leave early.
  • Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.