Iniki gives Kauaians reason enough to prepare - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Iniki gives Kauaians reason enough to prepare

Mark Marshall Mark Marshall
Susan Galicina Susan Galicina
Rick Galicinao Rick Galicinao

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

LIHUE (KHNL) - It's one of the greatest disasters to hit Hawaii. Almost 18 years ago, Hurricane Iniki slammed into Kauai.

That's one of the main reasons people there are extra sensitive when a hurricane like Felicia approaches the islands.

Even though Felicia may have little effects on Kauai, people there are still thinking about the big picture.

After Iniki, they know better than to underestimate the value of being prepared.

With estimated gusts of up to 175 miles an hour, Hurricane Iniki is the most powerful hurricane to strike the islands.

Six people died. More than a hundred were injured and there was more than three billion dollars worth of damage.

Kauai learned its lesson that day.

"We've hardened our utilities and even our building codes have really been revamped to take into some of these considerations," Kauai Civil Defense administrator Mark Marshall said. "I've noticed a lot of construction is beyond the current requirements."

Even though Felicia is not expected to wreak havoc on the Garden Island, people are still gearing up by getting those much needed supplies at places like Costco.

"We go through what we call our kit and that includes the tents, food, clothing, flashlights and first aid and all of our important papers and we can keep an ongoing list in our computer and we always update it," Kaumakani resident Susan Galicinao said.

Rick and Susan Galicinao joined many others at stores around the island, stocking up on the essentials.

"Unfortunately, everything has to be shipped in, from the Mainland and ships won't get here on the spur of the moment, that's an unfortunate reason for people to learn from the past," Rick Galicinao said.

Marshall says Iniki sparing the other islands actually helped Kauai.

"We were really fortunate in Iniki that the other islands weren't so badly damaged that they could send us immediate help, got a tremendous relief from that," he said. "Right now is just general preparedness both to their businesses and homes. We don't want to start a stampede and run on water, spam, rice and all the good stuff, toilet paper, but those things should be stored up the entire season."

A strategy shared by many on the Garden Isle.

"If it happens, fine," Rick Galicinao said. "If not, we still have the items to be used anyway."

Kauai officials do have a new system in place to give residents the latest information. It's called the Connect CTY Notification System. It calls, e-mails or gives people a text message in case of an emergency. To get connected, go to kauai.gov.

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