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Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced plans to assist homeless campers move from Leeward and North Shore beaches that will be closed tomorrow (Thursday) morning as a safety precaution to prepare for high winds and surf expected tomorrow afternoon through Friday morning.


"We are taking this precaution because we want everyone to be safe," Hannemann said after convening a special meeting with Acting City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell and public safety officials. "It is not safe for people to remain on these beaches because of high winds and high surf, especially at night."


All Leeward and North Shore beaches will be closed tomorrow and remain closed until safety is assured. Bellows and Waimanalo Bay Beach Parks on the Windward side will also be closed as a precaution against breaking tree limbs. Hannemann said the city plans to open temporary shelters at Waianae District Park, Kaneohe District Park, Waialua District Park and Waimanalo District Park, and will begin sending outreach teams to the beaches at 9 a.m. tomorrow to advise campers of the situation.


The American Red Cross reminds residents that these shelters are for emergency refuge and as such have minimal amenities available.  Residents going to a Red Cross shelter must bring with them non-perishable food, water, clothing, bedding, personal medications, etc.


Be aware that family pets are not allowed in public evacuation shelters. If you have pets take them with you when you evacuate.  Pets in their carriers should be placed in your vehicle which is parked in a shaded and secure area next to the shelter.  Be sure to bring food, water and cleaning supplies for each pet.


Service animals assisting the disabled are allowed in public shelters.


Should residents need transportation assistance to get to a shelter, the city's Department of Transportation Services and TheBus will provide evacuation shuttles.


Sustained winds of 35 MPH or more are expected across much of Oahu, with gusts of 50 MPH in some areas. The heaviest winds are expected from 8 p.m. Thursday until 8 a.m., Friday morning, though this could change. High surf is also expected during the same period.


Earlier today, the City's Department of Emergency Management issued a statement urging Oahu residents to be prepared and consider taking the following actions:

·        Keep informed of the latest advisories and warnings from official sources; stay tuned to television and radio stations for information and updates.

·        Trim dead wood and weak / overhanging branches from all trees.

·        Be careful of certain trees and bushes vulnerable to high winds; trees near a home can fall and become a hazard.

·        Secure lawn furniture, trash cans, holiday decorations—especially inflatables—and other outside objects that could become projectiles in high winds.

·        Have flashlights, battery operated radio, and spare batteries on-hand in case of a power outage.

·        Operators of large trucks and SUVs should be prepared for sudden gusts of wind which could cause momentary loss of vehicle control.

·        Listen carefully for safety instructions from the Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

·        Curtail non-essential travel and outdoor activities.

·        Should you have a high wind related emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.

Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor's Office, 527-6928