Seeking refuge in the event of a hurricane

Shelley Ichishita
Shelley Ichishita
Jennifer Walters
Jennifer Walters

By Roger Mari - bio | email

There are well over a 100 places where Hawaii residents and tourists can take refuge during a hurricane, but depending on the severity of the disaster, some of them might not be open.

The gymnasium at Kaimuki High School might be the home of the bulldog, but during a hurricane it could also be home to Oahu residents, forced to evacuate.

"When there is a storm, it is important that people listen to the local news for which specific shelters are open at which schools, and then evacuate to those shelters,"said Jennifer Walters a representative from the Red Cross.

This is just one of a growing list of schools across the state designated as an evacuation center.

Even the school cafeteria might be used as part of the shelter. Evacuees are encouraged to bring their own supplies.

"Space is very limited in a shelter that's why we recommend smaller kits like a back-pack," said Shelly Ichishita, representative from the State Civil Defense.

"Because we are an island, and so many people are going to need to evacuate to these shelters, initially there might not be these kinds of supplies at the shelter," she said.

It might not be home sweet home, but improvements have been made since the last major hurricane hit the islands in 1992.

"We've learned a lot every time we've had a storm. We have more hurricane shelter teams trained, and ready to staff the schools," said Ichishita.

These accommodations might not offer the best views, but during a major hurricane they could be the last resort.

More schools are being certified as shelters each year, but only a select few will take in pets.If you have a dog or cat, you will have to bring your own cages.