Hazard mitigation expert shares how to weather a storm

Hazard mitigation expert shares how to weather a storm

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dennis Hwang wrote the "Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards," a step-by-step plan to protect your home and personal property.

"The key thing is to protect the envelope of your house so there is no damage," he said.

Older homes without hurricane clips built in take weeks to retrofit.  But there's a quicker alternative.

"They also make these things called structural screws which actually take the place of a hurricane clip and actually go between your wall and into your rafter," he said.

Hwang said plywood is good for shielding windows. Pieces must be cut to fit, with holes for screws, and labels.

"So we know exactly what panel goes with what window. It's called the four P's: pre-measure, pre-mark, pre-label, pre-drill," he said.

Clear yards of tables, chairs and planters high wind can turn into projectiles. And trim hedges and trees.

"Trimming the tree a little so that the air flows through the tree, so that it doesn't act like an umbrella, causing it to topple over," he said.

Store important documents in water proof containers and list all valuables.

"And photograph your valuables because if you make any insurance claims you will have to document any damage," he said.

Hwang said remember to have an evacuation plan.  His book is available through the University of Hawaii's Sea Grant program.

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