Preparing for a hurricane

As this is written Wednesday morning, Hurricane Lane has been downgraded from a Category 5 storm to Category 4. Basically that means the associated winds have dropped from about 155 mph to 140 mph.

Still dangerous, still threatening.

For days now, we have watched Lane march inexorably west across the Pacific Ocean toward the Hawaiian Islands. While most models midday Wednesday showed the hurricane missing the Big Island and Maui to the south and west, the path of the storm could change again. We must remain vigilant.

By the way, even if Lane weakens or misses us, we could still receive significant damage from high winds and rain. It does not have to remain at hurricane force to knock down trees or cause significant flooding.

Again, please remain vigilant. Don’t get caught in a flash flood — don’t get injured by flying debris.

Every year we write editorials about preparation. June 1 through Nov. 30 is officially hurricane season here.

Families should have a hurricane plan with all needed supplies on hand for at least five days. Have plenty of bottled water on hand — flashlights and a hand-cranked radio should also be available. Have extra batteries for the flashlights. Don’t forget toiletries. Have a first-aid kit.

Have a generous store of nonperishable foods — canned goods, peanut butter, soups, crackers. Just about anything that doesn’t require refrigeration is a good food to include in your disaster kit.

Experts also recommend anyone living below 25 feet in elevation — a majority of Maui’s population — should be ready to evacuate.

The Red Cross suggests that because of our isolation, we should have supplies on hand that will take care of our families for five to seven days.

You can learn more by visiting https://www.redcross.org/local/hawaii.html. The site has information and tips about preparing your family for storm season.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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