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What are hurricanes and tropical storms?
Powerful storms that form over tropical waters, generally from June to December, whose effects can include damaging surf and storm surge along coastlines, destructive winds (for hurricane, sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher; for tropical storms, sustained winds of 39 to 73 MPH), water spouts and tornadoes, and heavy rain and flooding. Since meteorologists are unable to accurately forecast hurricane and tropical storm speed, direction or intensity, it is important that residents PREPARE family emergency plans and assemble survival kits. Should one of these powerful storms strike Oahu, no area will be safe from its effects.
How do I learn that hurricane or tropical storm conditions are expected?
The National Weather Service (NWS), through NOAA weather radio, newspapers, and local radio and television stations, will issue hurricane or tropical storm WATCHES and WARNINGS. A WATCH means there is a threat of hurricane or tropical storm conditions to Oahu within 48 hours. A WARNING is issued when a hurricane or tropical storm is expected to affect Oahu in 36 hours or less.
What should I do when hurricane or tropical storm WATCHES or WARNINGS are issued?
A WATCH means PREPARE. Listen for National Weather Service and Emergency Management messages on local radio and TV stations. When a WARNING is issued, begin actions to protect life and property. Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for weather updates and emergency messages on possible school closures, employee excusal, and shelter opening schedules. Anticipate siren sounding and evacuation advisories/orders.
Who should evacuate?
Residents who live in or near the Tsunami Evacuation Zones described on the maps; individuals residing along ridge lines and in low-lying areas subject to flooding; and occupants of wooden frame or other lightly constructed buildings. Residents of multi-story buildings of heavy concrete and steel at least 300 feet inland from the shoreline should go to the third floor or above in their building's enclosed rooms, hallways, or stairwells that have loadbearing walls. Such areas offer protection as good as public shelters.
When should I evacuate?
Evacuate immediately when directed by the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) through radio or television broadcasts or by Police, Fire, or Civil Defense officials using mobile public address systems in your neighborhood. Plan to complete evacuation prior to the arrival of sustained 40 MPH winds. Evacuating in winds exceeding the sustained 40 MPH level may be more hazardous than remaining where you are.
Where should I go if I evacuate?
Go to the homes of friends or relatives whose residences are not endangered, to facilities provided by your employer or church group, or to a Hurricane Shelter. Please note that all identified shelters will not be opened automatically. Listen to radio and TV for specific shelter designations and opening schedules. Occupants of multi-story buildings of heavy concrete and steel and at least 300 feet inland from the shoreline should go to the third floor or above in their buildings enclosed rooms, hallways, or stairwells that have loadbearing walls. Such areas offer protection as good as public shelters.
What should I bring with me if I evacuate to a shelter?
It is essential that you bring your survival kit with you because food, cots, blankets, and other comfort items will probably not be available.
How can I get emergency assistance?
Call the agencies listed in the "Handy Telephone Numbers" listed below:
POLICE/FIRE/AMBULANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .911
Department of Human Resources. . . . . . . . . . 523-4215
Elderly/Disabled Assistance . . . . . . .. . . . ..... 523-4545
Voice or TTY Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......... . . 527-6300
Department of Emergency Management ..... 723-8960
TTY Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............... 527-5476
Pacific Gateway Center(Foreign Language Translations Service . . . 848-0936/845-3918
Where can I get more information about hurricane and tropical storm hazards and family preparation plan?
Department of Emergency Management
650 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
|Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 26, 2009|