With threat of busy hurricane season looming, the message to residents is ‘prepare now’

With threat of busy hurricane season looming, the message to residents is ‘prepare now’
Emergency preparedness officials say the time is now to prepare for this year's hurricane season. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s hurricane season kicks off Saturday, and forecasters are warning it could be a busy one.

The message for residents: The time to prepare is now.

One essential for every family, preparedness officials say, is an emergency supply kit with at least 14 days worth of food, water and medicine.

They say putting together an emergency supply kit ― or two or three ― could mean all the difference.

“As we prepare for another active hurricane season in the Central Pacific, we urge everyone to have an emergency plan now, so that you are ready for the devastating impacts that a tropical cyclone could bring to the State of Hawaii,” said Chris Benchley, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, in a news release.

“It is essential that you know where and how to get official information, even in the event of a power failure, and that you have your emergency supply kit ready well before any storms threaten.”

The city Department of Emergency Management recommends packing emergency supply kits in advance and not when a hurricane is headed toward the state.

Here’s what your kit should include:

  • Water: One gallon of water per person per day for 14 days for drinking, cooking and sanitation.
  • Food: Non-perishable items that do not require cooking, such as peanut butter, dried fruits, beef jerky and nuts.
  • Eating utensils: Plates, mess kits, forks, chopsticks and a non-electric can opener for canned foods.
  • Radio: Battery-powered or hand-crank radio with NOAA Weather alert.
  • Lights: Flashlight and/or portable fluorescent light.
  • Spare batteries
  • A first aid kit, with bandages, tape, scissors, antiseptic, sunscreen, and pain relievers.
  • A whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Tools: Wrench, pliers and duct tape.
  • Maps
  • And other miscellaneous items: Paper, pencils, matches, signal flare, feminine supplies, disinfectant, clothing, rain gear, blankets and/or sleeping bags, pet food, identification, cash, important documents and prescription glasses.

Emergency preparedness officials say a household should also have access to a cellphone with back-up portable chargers.

Families should also have an evacuation safety plan.

The Hawaiian Electric Company’s Handbook for Emergency Preparedness said the plan "contains information about safe shelter options, evacuation routes, and how you will reconnect if you become separated and other communication methods are compromised.”

Hawaii’s hurricane season runs through November 30.

Last week, forecasters said the Central Pacific would likely see an above-normal hurricane season, with five to eight tropical cyclones.

For more safety tips, click here.

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