Former Hawaii residents in Florida prepare ahead of Hurricane Irma

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former Hawaii residents now living in Florida are stocking up on supplies and preparing for Hurricane Irma, which is slated to make landfall this weekend.

"Most of the houses around here, after a certain time period, were built to handle hurricane strength weather, but nothing can really prepare you for a Category 4 or a 5," said Khrysti Hunsworth, former Oahu resident.

The Hunsworth family lives in Orlando, which is now part of the dangerous Category 5's forecast cone.

Photos taken on Tuesday showed long lines of customers wrapping around a Costco in south Florida, empty shelves at grocery stores and cars waiting in long lines to fill their gas tanks.

"Most of the stores are sold out of the major goods like water," said Hunsworth. "We're buying perishables, trying to figure out things that we can make like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spam and different things we can eat in case we lose power, that's the biggest concern losing power"

The Paige family, also former Hawaii  residents, are packing important items like documents and photos.

"You have to take valuables, important papers, social security cards, the things you can't replace, "said Colleen Paige. "Your pictures and your photo album."

Meanwhile, four Hawaii Red Cross volunteers are being deployed to Florida.

"We're going to get shelters ready and prep them and stock them to receive evacuees," said Bryne Nagata with the Red Cross.

Robert Ballard, science and operations officer at Oahu's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, will head to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to help monitor the Atlantic systems.

"Irma offers us a lot of lessons about preparation and you really want to make sure you don't wait until something like this is coming," Ballard said. "It offers so many hazards and ways to get in big trouble, so you really want to be prepared."

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