Islanders prepare for next power outage - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Islanders prepare for next power outage

Norm Freelander Norm Freelander
Kim Minjarez Kim Minjarez

By Roger Mari - bio | email

(WAIPAHU) KHNL - Long lines at grocery stores during the blackout showed that not everybody was ready for an emergency.  This power outage has turned into a wakeup call for some island residents, now preparing for the next disaster.

When the lights went out, people went out, to wait in line with the others who weren't prepared to deal with the problems of a power outage.

 "What it is is that they panic because they don't know when the stores are going to open back up again," said Lowes manager Norm Freelander.

And when those stores opened up, the day after the blackout - people were buying generators, flashlights and BBQ grills.

"They were buying for the next storm; I mean they were buying plastics totes.  I had one lady in the store spend not less than 500 dollars in batteries".

While many people try to weather through this tough economic climate, there's always a price to pay when Mother Nature pays a visit. 

"This is one time I don't think the economy plays any role in it, when it comes to the safety of our families," said Freelander.

During this disaster, some people were more prepared more than others.  The day before Christmas, Kim Minjarez bought a flashlight from Lowes, not only for herself but for a co-worker as a Christmas gift.

"They can use for emergencies, and they didn't think of the blackout will come in but it's a great on time he got it," said customer Kim Minjarez.

Preparing for the next power outage is a bright idea, but for many these emergencies just don't come often enough for them to see the light being disaster ready. 

On an average day Lowes sells about 15 flashlights, Saturday they sold more than 300.

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