At City Mill on Nimitz Highway, a merchandise display at the front of the store stood as a visual checklist of emergency items every household should have. Store manager Frank Suster said customers are buying storm supplies as Hurricane Iselle surges toward the state.
"The number one thing that they're buying is bottled water, batteries, and some people are buying flashlights," he said. At the city's Department of Emergency Management, the focus Monday was on computer models tracking the storm's predicted path toward Hawaii."We are banking on the National Weather Service forecast that it will not be a hurricane when it hits us," deputy director Peter Hirai said. "But we know that a tropical storm will also bring a lot of drastic effects such as flooding, high winds, heavy rains, so we're still definitely going to prepare."
Oahu's last bout of significant rainfall swamped some spots. Department of Facility Maintenance director Ross Sasamura said city crews may have to clear certain stream beds on Oahu before the storm.
"Those areas typically are areas that are prone to flooding. Areas on the windward side. There are even some areas on the west side that we watch as well," he said.
Representatives from a number of city departments met with first responders at the Emergency Management command center to map out strategy, the first in a series of updates over the next few days.
"One of the meetings that we will be conducting in the next several days will be on sheltering and mass care services. Red Cross has an important role to play in that," Hirai said.
American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter CEO Coralie Matayoshi said a hurricane kit should have enough food for seven days and a gallon of water per day per person."In a hurricane most people will need to go to a shelter. So we have to huddle together and you've got to bring your own stuff, including sleeping bags and your own food and water because we're not going to have anything," she said.
Suster said if you live in a highrise it's a good idea to fill an empty 20-gallon trash can with water to flush your toilet if the power is out."You can put a trash bag in it so you don't get any leaks. Fill it up and that will give you at least 20 flushes for your toilet," he said.
A few days remain until Iselle's expected impact. "We hope for the best and we plan for the worst," Hirai said.
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