Prepare for storm season

Watching tornadoes pound the Mainland reminds us we will soon be entering a different kind of storm season here in the Pacific.

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

The Hawaiian Islands lie in an area of the world where tropical cyclones are bred in warm ocean waters. The topography of the islands — sharp-sided mountains and deep valleys — can intensify heavy winds.

Last year there were six named storms — all hurricanes — that made their way into Hawaii’s waters. Olivia had been downgraded to a tropical storm when it made landfall on Maui and Lanai — but still did a great deal of damage through flooding and landslides.

Hurricane Lane, a powerful storm, passed south of us but dropped 50 inches of rain on the Big Island.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is predicting another above normal storm season. The experts are predicting five to eight storms.

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

Bring in 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.

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.

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

You can learn more by visiting 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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