How prepared are Hawaii residents for a hurricane?

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) -  As Hurricane Gustav slammed into the Gulf Coast states, you would think many in Hawaii would be reminded to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane hitting here.

But instead, on Labor Day, many took a holiday from hurricane awareness.

A number of people had home improvement on their minds on this holiday, as Home Depot was packed with shoppers.

Some wanted to fix up where they live, but many are neglecting to prepare their homes for an emergency. Even lacking a complete hurricane disaster kit.

"We have basic things, we have lanterns, the radios with the hand cranks, the costco waters," said Shelley Fey, a Hawaii Kai resident.

Just like the Amongs, and many other Hawaii residents not ready for disaster until it hits.

"I don't have all of our supplies all in one place, but we have a radio, we have lots of batteries, and a little bit of water," said Joy Among, of Honolulu.

"Until they tell us the hurricane is 2-3 days away from Waikiki, we will probably just stay the same as we are," added her husband, Richard.

"We don't worry about it until it gets close," said Fey.

Even Hurricane Gustav which hit the Gulf Coast, it is still not enough to motivate some to get together first aid supplies, valuable papers and other important items into a disaster preparedness kit.

Instead, many in Hawaii spent time at our beaches enjoying the surf, sun and water. But because we are an island state, we are especially exposed to hazards like hurricanes.

After seeing the incredible power of the latest storm to strike, some are no longer taking the threat of a hurricane lightly.

"My husband and I were talking about Gustav, and said we gotta start thinking seriously, we've got to get prepared," said Joy Among.