HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a tsunami warning in effect, Hawaiian Electric Company is making preparations to respond to the potential impact to the electric system and coordinating efforts with other emergency response agencies. These actions are underway:
• Ensuring fuel supplies for generation, including emergency generation, are topped off;
• Securing Hawaiian Electric facilities, making sure employees and equipment are safe.
In addition, Hawaiian Electric urges customers to take the following precautions, as appropriate:
• Make sure you have a battery-powered radio on hand to listen for updates on the tsunami.
• Double check your emergency equipment at home such as flashlights, radios, cell phones and other battery-powered equipment to be sure they are operational.
• If your home or business is in an inundation zone, turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment before you leave, especially sensitive electronics. In the event of an outage, this will help prevent damage to the equipment from surges when power is restored.
• If someone in your home is dependent on electric powered, life sustaining medical equipment, check backup facilities. Plan where to go should the need for evacuation occur, and remember to take your equipment, medicine and/or supplies with you.
• Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. If power goes out, this will keep food fresher longer.
• If you plan to use a portable generator, make sure it is placed in a well ventilated area (preferably outside) and be sure to carefully follow all instructions in the manufacturer's manual. As a general rule, do not plug portable generators into household outlets. Doing so could cause electricity to backflow into power lines endangering the public and Hawaiian Electric workers who may be working to restore power. Electric appliances should be plugged directly into the generator using heavy duty extension cords. Make sure the wattage of the appliances you are using does not exceed the capacity of your generator.
• Keep cash on hand. If power outages do occur, you may not be able to withdraw cash from banks or ATMs.
Electrical safety advice
• Do NOT approach downed utility lines or touch fallen or low hanging wires, nor anything they may be in contact with. As a precaution, assume that all cables and lines may still be energized, regardless of whether they are power lines or telephone or cable television lines
• Stay away from downed lines. Warn others to stay away. Call Hawaiian Electric Company's Trouble Line at 548-7961 or dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.
• Check local media and/or tune in to radio stations for important reports from local officials and additional safety and status reports from Hawaiian Electric Company.
• Keep telephone lines clear for police and other emergency services. Call Hawaiian Electric Company only to report downed sparking power lines or unsafe electrical equipment. Key numbers to note:
1. Customer Service inquiries: 548-7311
2. Trouble Line: 548-7961