City releases extensive ‘Hurricane and tropical storm preparedness’ guide
  • Thursday, November 15, 2018
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City releases extensive ‘Hurricane and tropical storm preparedness’ guide

  • Residents and business owners prepare for Hurricane Lane on track to reach Hawaii in the next few days.
    Video by Kristen Consillio
  • COURTESY CITY and COUNTY OF HONOLULU

    Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his staff received a briefing from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Hurricane Lane at the city Emergency Operations Center this morning.

  • BARRY MARKOWITZ / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    Cases of water were stacked throughout the Hawaii Kai Safeway store but the usual water shelves were picked clean by residents prepping for Hurricane Lane this afternoon.

ADVERTISING

The City & County of Honolulu has released the following Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness Guidance:

ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS

I am disabled or have a family member who is disabled, where can I go?

Public Shelters are open to accommodate the general public and those with access and/or functional needs. Locations of Public Shelters will be broadcast over local TV and radio. Public Shelters are for those individuals who do not require hospitalization and should be used as a last resort. Special health needs evacuees must either be capable of taking care of their own needs or be accompanied by a caregiver. Recommend planning ahead with family members, friends and / or neighbors to be able to shelter in a home built 1995 or later which can be secured and which is not in a flood or evacuation zone.

I am disabled, should I evacuate to a hospital?

Unless you have a medical emergency, hospitals will not allow you to shelter there. Public Shelters are open to accommodate the general public and those with access and/or functional needs. Locations of Public Shelters will be broadcast over local TV and radio. Public Shelters are for those individuals who do not require hospitalization and should be used as a last resort. If you need emergency assistance to evacuate your home call 9-1-1. Be aware that during an island-wide emergency assistance from Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services could be delayed or in most cases, unavailable. Recommend planning ahead to seek the help of family, friends and / or neighbors to assist you with your evacuation, sheltering or disaster assistance needs.

I know a disabled person who cannot understand emergency information broadcast over TV and radio.

If you know a person who due to a disability cannot receive emergency information readily, we highly recommend forming a core group of family, friends and / or neighbors who can assist with translations or providing important emergency information as well as assisting with disaster preparedness actions and if needed, such as evacuation. In addition, we highly recommend signing up to receive emergency push alert messages and / or emails sent directly to your cell phone from the City’s Mobile App, HNL.Info. This free mobile app is available to download from iTunes App Store and Google Play. Online web based version at https://hnl.info/alerts.

Will emergency hurricane shelters have medical equipment/supplies to help people needing oxygen, dialysis or other medical health needs?

No, Public Shelters do not provide life-sustaining services. Each person who requires life-sustaining services needs to work out an agreement with the companies that provide these services such as oxygen providers. The City provides emergency access cards to all companies that provide life-sustaining equipment / services such as oxygen so they can get through roadblocks to deliver such services before a hurricane or storm. Recommend planning ahead with your provider to make those arrangements before an emergency occurs.

Will emergency hurricane shelters have medical equipment/supplies to help people needing oxygen, dialysis or other medical health needs?

For dialysis services, the City has been working with the service providers to get some details on their operations. Here are some of their recommendations:

1. Dialysis patients have several days between services; if a hurricane is approaching they can go on a special diet to lengthen that period. It is recommended that patients speak to their doctor in advance to discuss their various options during a disaster.

2. Dialysis requires power and lots of distilled water; patients should check with their provider if they have an emergency plan which would allow them to operate after a disaster, such as having an emergency generator, fuel and water.

3. If providers are unable to provide services after a disaster, the City may turn to FEMA who can assist in temporarily relocating people from affected areas; patients would return when services such as oxygen delivery and dialysis capabilities are restored.

BUSINESSES

I am a business owner, what should I be doing?

All businesses should consider protecting important assets such as files, documents, equipment and any other items necessary to reopen your business following a disaster. In addition, all businesses should ensure that their employees and families have undertaken disaster preparedness actions at home so that they can return to work as soon as it is safe to do so.

I am an employee, what should I be doing?

Contact your employer and ask if there are any specific preparedness actions that your company or business may require. In addition you should ensure that your family and home are prepared for the emergency. This includes preparing a disaster supply kit which includes a minimum of 14-days’ worth of non-perishable food, water, clothing, prescription medications, flashlight, portable radio, cash and other important items. If your family is disaster prepared at home then you will be better able to return to work following an emergency. (See the section on Preparedness should the caller have specific questions)

When will help be available if my business is damaged?

County, State and Federal assistance for businesses is generally available sometime following the disaster. Listen to local TV and radio for updates on disaster relief assistance.

CLOSURES

Will my child’s school be closed?

The decision to close public schools will be made by the Hawaii State Department of Education. Monitor local TV and radio for updates on school closures.

Will the airport be closed?

The decision to close airports will be made by the Hawaii State Department of Transportation. Monitor local TV and radio for updates on airport closures.

What roads or highways are closed?

Unfortunately during a storm event it is very difficult to know immediately which roads are open or closed. Police forward road closure information to local media as quickly as possible. Listen to local TV and radio for the most current updates. In addition, we highly recommend signing up to receive emergency push alert messages or emails sent directly to your cell phone from the City’s Mobile App, HNL.Info. This free mobile app is available to download from iTunes App Store and Google Play. Online web based version at https://hnl.info/alerts.

EVACUATION

Should I consider evacuating?

You should evacuate immediately when advised by authorities especially if you live in a flood or evacuation zone, on a high ridged area susceptible to high winds, homes built before 1995 with no hardening upgrades done to bring it up to current building codes or you feel that your home or location is no longer safe. Ultimately, the decision to evacuate is your own, but the protection of you and your family should be the most important consideration.

Do you live on or near the shoreline?

Yes. Be aware that if you live on the shoreline you may have to evacuate due to the hazard of hurricane produced storm surge. Review coastal evacuation maps in your Hawaiian Telcom telephone book or visit our web site at www.honolulu.gov/dem and follow the instructions on the Tsunami Map Viewer to quickly see if you are in a tsunami evacuation zone at http://cchnl.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=39a9e07068a14d01a85b437adcf50beb.

Do you live in an older home?

Yes. If you live in an older home (constructed prior to 1995) or an older home on an exposed ridgeline you may have to evacuate. Older homes are not built to current hurricane construction standards and could be at risk from wind damage. Homes on exposed ridgelines are extremely susceptible to these hazards.

Do you live in a flood prone area?

Yes. If you live in an area prone to flooding you should consider evacuating. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms bring intense amounts of rain that can quickly flood low lying areas causing flash flooding of streams and rivers. If unsure, check out the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Flood Hazard Assessment Tool online at http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/FHAT/.

Do you live in a newly built home or concrete and steel reinforced building located out of the coastal evacuation or flood zones?

If yes, you can and should consider sheltering in place in a Safe Room. A Safe Room is a secured room within your home or business with few or no windows. Bathrooms, large walk in closets and enclosed hallways are ideal. You want to place as much protection between yourself and the hazards outside your walls. Bring in pets, close and seal all doors and window coverings. Move your family, disaster supplies and pets into your Safe Room. Be sure to take a battery operated radio, flashlight and spare batteries with you. Remain in your Safe Room until the all clear is issued over local TV and radio. There will be no siren sounding for an all clear.

When should I evacuate?

Evacuate immediately when directed by emergency officials. Evacuation notifications will be broadcast over local TV and radio in conjunction with activation of our island-wide Outdoor Warning Siren system. Police, Fire, and Emergency Management officials will also use mobile public address systems to alert residents in Oahu neighborhoods. Plan to complete evacuation before 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 residence are not endangered, to facilities provided by your employer or church group, or as a last resort to a public shelter. Please note that shelters will not be opened automatically. Monitor local TV and radio for specific shelter locations and opening schedules.

Be aware that steel reinforced concrete buildings should provide adequate protection. If your building is multiple floors and / or is located in the coastal evacuation zone seek safety by moving to higher floors. Search out enclosed rooms, hallways, or emergency stairwells that have load-bearing walls and no windows. Such areas offer protection as good as public shelters.

I do not drive or have a car, how do I evacuate to a shelter?

If you are able to walk or bike, we encourage you to do so. If not, on Oahu, City buses may be used as evacuation shuttles providing free transportation to the nearest shelter once evacuations are ordered. These will display a special “Evacuation” sign and will pick you up free anywhere along their route. Just flag down an evacuation shuttle and get on board. You do not need to be at a bus stop.

Riders will be allowed one bag per person. Domestic pets may also be brought onboard the bus as long as they are on a leash or in a leak proof solid sided or cage type carrier. Buses are wheelchair and other mobility device friendly and accessible.

When evacuation buses are made available routes and other information will be broadcast over local TV and radio.

Request the assistance of family, friends or neighbors to get you to an evacuation shelter site.

GENERAL PREPAREDNESS

Fourteen (14)-day Emergency Supply Kit

With Hawaii’s remoteness it could be as long as two weeks or more before a full disaster relief operation can be initiated. Hawaii residents need to be prepared to take care of all of their emergency needs and those of their family for at least 14-days following a major island or state-wide disaster. Your emergency supplies kit should contain enough of the following items to last for a minimum of 14-days:

Water – One gallon of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation (1/2 gallon per person per day for drinking purposes only).

Food – Non-perishable food that does not require cooking such as chunky peanut butter, protein/nutrient bars, protein shakes and/or dried fruits/nuts. Popular local foods such as spam, corned beef and vienna sausages are great comfort foods but contain high sodium and may be heavy to carry should you need evacuate.

Eating Utensils – Plates, mess kits, forks and chop sticks. Don’t forget a non-electric can opener for canned foods.

Radio – NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM Radio (battery, hand-crank or solar)

Light – Flashlight (battery, hand-crank or solar) and / or portable fluorescent lights

Spare batteries – Check annually (keep batteries out of radios and flashlights and in a dry area to avoid corrosion).

First Aid – Get a good kit with non-latex gloves and consider enrolling in a certified first aid, CPR and AED course.

Whistle – Important for signaling for help. A whistle carries much farther than the human voice and uses less energy than yelling.

Dust Mask – Helps to filter contaminated air.

Sanitation – Moist towelettes, toilet paper, baby wipes, 5-gallon bucket (if need to evacuate), heavy duty garbage bags, baking soda or kitty litter to absorb odors and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

Personal Toiletry – Baby wipes, mouth wash, tooth paste/brush, deodorant, feminine products, incontinent supplies.

Tools – Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, duct tape, rope.

Important Document – Picture ID, Medical Records, Insurance and Bank Records, Certificates (i.e. Birth, Marriage, Divorce), Deeds, Wills and Healthcare Directives, Family Photos, Local area maps. (Download the FEMA Emergency Financial First Aid Kit https://bit.ly/2Pcvwtl)

Medication and Prescription – Special medications, spare glasses, hearing aid batteries, listing of all prescriptions and medical device serial numbers.

Baby and Children – Infant formula, diapers, kid friendly snacks, toys and games that do not require power or batteries.

Pet Supplies – Pet food, water, leak proof crate / container, leash, ID, medications, and toy.

How do I prepare for high winds?

• Trim dead wood and weak/overhanging branches from all trees. Trimming and maintaining trees and brushes in advance is key as you want to avoid recently cut trimmings to become projectiles during a high wind event.

• Certain trees and bushes are vulnerable to high winds and any dead tree near a home can become a hazard. Consider investing the time and/or money to remove such hazards from your property.

• Investing in some type of protection for your home’s glass windows and doors such as treated ply wood, storm panels, etc. If you purchase treated ply wood, recommend you pre-measure, pre-cut and pre-drill and label each panel covering (i.e. Downstairs Bedroom, Panel 1 of 2). Refer to the U.H. Manoa Sea Grant Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards available online (http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards).

• For homes built before 1995, investing in hurricane clips and straps to secure your roof to the support beams down through the foundation of the home is recommended. Refer to the U.H. Manoa Sea Grant Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards available online (http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards).

• Know where to secure lawn furniture, trash cans and other unsecured outside objects that could become projectiles in high winds (i.e. Bring them into your home or garage or for heavier items consider corralling them up by tying them together and securing them.)

• Detached carports and open garages are at risk from high wind damage. Consider adding strapping to secure carports.

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

• Drivers of large trucks and SUV’s should be prepared for sudden gusts of wind which could cause momentary loss of vehicle control. Stay off roads if at all possible.

• Listen to local TV and radio for safety instructions from the Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

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

What do I need to do before a hurricane or tropical storm strikes?

• Have major electronics moved off the ground, unplugged or plugged in a surge protector strips.

• Backup important electronic files onto an external drive or cloud regularly.

• Have mobile cell phones charged and have an external charger for each.

• Keep your family together if possible and minimize travel until the storm system is no longer a threat.

• Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.

• Remove and safely store any items outdoors such a lawn furniture that could become airborne.

• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

• Determine how and where to secure your boat if you own one.

• Consider building or identifying a safe room in your home where you can shelter in place.

• Do not leave your windows open at all. They should remain shut with drapes securely closed.

Should I tape my windows?

Masking tape or duct tape on your windows will not stop storm driven debris from breaking the glass. The only reliable method for securing your windows from damage is to shield them from the outside with plywood (minimum 5/8” thick), window shutters or other window protection systems.

Should I open my windows to keep the air pressure from damaging my home?

Definitely not. This is an old urban legend that will not protect your home during a hurricane or tropical storm. Keeping all of your doors and windows closed and secured is the only way to prevent storm winds and rains from entering the structure and causing damage or catastrophic failure.

How can I get emergency information?

The State of Hawaii has a robust Outdoor Warning Siren System; however, with population and development growth more sirens are being planned to be installed; however, the Outdoor Warning Siren System is just one way to receive emergency alerts. It is strongly recommended to have multiple methods of receiving emergency information. These methods include:

• Local TV and Radio Broadcasts

• Emergency Alert System (EAS) message notifications broadcast over local TV, Radio and NOAA AM/FM Weather Radio

• Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system by having it set in the “On” mode on Smart Phone devices

• NOAA AM/FM Weather Radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)

• HNL.info push alerts/email/SMS text messaging via app download from the App Store or Google Play Store or via online registration at https://hnl.info/alerts/register.php (Each County has their own local notification system. HNL.info is only for Honolulu.)

• Public Address Systems broadcast by local emergency responders

In addition, consider a 2-way Family Radio Service (FRS) radio or acquiring an Amateur (HAM) Radio License to not only be able to receive emergency information but to be able to communicate emergency information. HAM Radio is the communication system that the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) along with the City and State Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) utilizes when landlines and cell phones are inoperable.

Local TV and Radio Broadcasting

Emergency information such as evacuation instructions may be issued over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) via TV and Radio. Radio Stations include but are not limited to the following:

• KSSK AM 590 / FM 92.3

• KZOO AM 1210 (Japanese Language Station)

• KREA AM 1540 (Korean Language Station)

• KNDI AM 1270 (Multi-Cultural Language Station to include: Ilocano, Tagalog, Hispanic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Laotian, Okinawan, Vietnamese, Samoan, Tongan, Marshallese, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, and English)

Disaster Preparedness, what should I know?

Due to Hawaii’s isolation and our large resident, military and visitor population it could be many days before disaster relief efforts reach all of those who are affected. Individuals, families and businesses should be prepared to be on their own for at least 14 days. Assemble basic supplies such as non-perishable food, water, clothing and important medications. Go to the DEM website at www.honolulu.gov/dem for more disaster preparedness information and to access downloadable information sheets.

I hear that heavy rains may cause flooding. What should I do to prepare?

• Know the meanings and effects of National Weather Service issued messages of Flood Advisory, Flash Flood Watch and Flash Flood Warning. Visit the National Weather Service on-line at http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/ for more information and current weather advisory status. Call the National Weather Service at 808-973-4380 for recorded weather information, and monitor local TV and radio for the latest updates.

• Learn the safest evacuation route from your home or place of business to high ground should you have to evacuate in a hurry.

• If your area floods frequently, keep emergency materials on hand such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting or tarp, and lumber.

• Stay away from areas along streams or near drainage canals/ditches. These areas can become deadly during periods of heavy rainfall.

• If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as possible. Floodwaters can rise rapidly and sweep a car (and its occupants) away. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles. DO NOT drive through flooded areas in your vehicle as parts of the road may already be washed out or the water may be much deeper than it appears. Turn around, don’t drown!

• Consider canceling or postponing outdoor activities especially hiking in mountains and valleys. A small stream can become a raging torrent within minutes if previous rainfall has been substantial. Don’t cross until the flash flood subsides.

• Heavy rains cause runoff, which attracts more sharks. Avoid swimming immediately after a heavy storm, especially in murky waters.

• If you experience a flood related emergency call 9-1-1 immediately!

INFORMATION

How can I get current emergency information?

Local TV and radio remain your best means of receiving current emergency information. Make sure that you have a battery operated radio and spare batteries at home and at work. A hand crank or solar radio is a good option too.

In addition, we highly recommend signing up to receive emergency push alert messages and emails sent directly to your cell phone from the City’s Mobile App, HNL.Info. This free mobile app is available to download from iTunes App Store and Google Play. Online web based version at https://hnl.info/alerts.

Which radio stations should I monitor?

KSSK AM 590, KSSK FM 92.3 and KNDI AM 1270 multi-language are your best choices. These radio stations have generator power and will continue broadcasting emergency information.

NOAA Weather Alert Radio

NOAA Weather Alert Radios can notify you 24 hours a day to hazards in our area including severe weather, hurricanes / tropical storms, flooding and tsunami events. In addition many of these units can activate other warning devices such as a strobe light to provide a visual warning. These radios are available from most electronics and department stores or online. NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING

I know a Non-English speaker who cannot understand emergency information broadcast over local TV and radio.

If you know of someone who does not speak English or has limited English proficiency and cannot receive emergency information readily, we highly recommend you visit our website www.honolulu.gov/dem to review online or download Resources in other Languages to share with them. Also consider forming a core group of family, friends and neighbors who can assist with translations or providing important emergency information as well as assisting with disaster preparedness actions and if needed, such as evacuation.

The following radio stations broadcast in foreign languages:

FILIPINO KPHI Radio AM 1130

Broadcasts in Filipino.

JAPANESE KZOO Radio AM 1210

Broadcasts in Japanese.

KOREAN KREA Radio AM 1460

Broadcasts in Korean

MULTI-LINGUAL KNDI Radio AM 1270

Broadcasts in Filipino, Samoan, Tongan, Hispanic, Chinese, Okinawan, Vietnamese, Laotian, Marshallese, Pohnpeian and Chuukese.

PETS

I am a pet owner, what can I do?

Be aware that all Oahu’s Public Shelters allow pets. Public Shelters locations will be broadcast over local TV and radio. Owners are responsible for feeding, cleaning, and exercising their pets and may be asked to assist shelter staff. Each pet must be brought to the shelter in their own leak proof pet cage or solid sided carrier with enough room that they can comfortably turn around inside. Pet owners must provide food, water, sanitation supplies and other pet care provisions for each pet. Each pet should have a leash and a name tag.

SHELTERS

Where is the nearest emergency hurricane shelter located?

Most public shelters are located within the State of Hawaii public schools. Do not automatically evacuate. Specific shelter locations as well as opening times will be broadcast over local TV and radio should evacuation be necessary. Call Aloha United Way at 2-1-1 for the location of your nearest shelter or go to the DEM website at www.honolulu.gov/dem to get more information.

If I evacuate to a shelter what do I need to bring?

You must bring all of your emergency supplies with you. This includes non-perishable foods, water, clothing, special medications, bedding and other necessary items for you and everyone in your family including your pets evacuating to a shelter. Shelters only provide you with a protected place to stay during an emergency in the event your home or area is no longer safe.

VISITORS

I am a visitor, what should I do?

Return to your hotel as soon as possible and check with front desk staff as to what emergency accommodations or procedures are available for you. If you are unable to return to your hotel before storm conditions arrive, public shelters when opened will accept visitors also. Listen to local TV and radio for shelter locations and opening times.

In addition, we highly recommend signing up to receive emergency push alert messages and emails sent directly to your cell phone from the City’s Mobile App, HNL.Info. This free mobile app is available to download from iTunes App Store and Google Play. Online web based version at https://hnl.info/alerts.

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

A Hurricane or Tropical Storm WATCH has been issued. What does that mean and what should I do?

A Hurricane/Tropical Storm WATCH means that the hurricane/tropical storm conditions of high winds, wind-driven rain, and storm surge are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 48-hours. Think of a WATCH as a reminder to PREPARE. When a WATCH is issued residents should:

• Fuel your vehicle and maintain the level at full or no less than one-half tank.

• Prepare to protect windows and doors with plywood boards (minimum 5/8” thick), storm shutters or other types of hurricane resistant window protection.

• Check emergency food and water supplies. Maintain enough supplies to provide for the needs of everyone in your family including pets for a minimum of 14 days. Store your emergency supplies in a cooler or other type of easily transported container in case you have to evacuate your place of residence.

• Ensure that you have a working NOAA Weather Radio and/or portable radio, flashlight and spare batteries.

• Be sure that loose outdoor items such as garbage cans, lawn chairs and tables, garden tools, hanging plants, etc. are stored or secured in place.

• Check and replenish first-aid supplies, prescription and over-the-counter medications.

• Keep an extra supply of cash on-hand, the amount that you would normally spend over 14 day period is a good planning figure.

• Prepare for the special needs of pets, elderly, infants or those dependent on electricity.

A Hurricane or Tropical Storm WARNING has been issued. What does that mean and what should I do?

A Hurricane/Tropical Storm WARNING means that the hurricane/tropical storm conditions of high winds and storm surge are possible in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 36-hours. Think of a WARENING as an alert to TAKE ACTION. When a WARNING is issued residents should:

• Be prepared to evacuate if ordered to do so, especially if you live in:

o The Coastal Evacuation Zone – Consult the Hawaiian Telcom telephone book evacuation maps or visit our web site at www.honolulu.gov/dem and click on the Tsunami Map Viewer link at http://cchnl.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=39a9e07068a14d01a85b437adcf50beb. Hurricane storm surge evacuation zones are similar to the Tsunami Evacuation Zone delineated in Red and outlined with a solid black line.

o Flood Zones (http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/FHAT/)

o Older homes (built pre-1995) on exposed ridgelines and on mountain slopes.

o Older “plantation” style single wall homes without foundations and pier and post foundations regardless of where they are located.

• Complete any unfinished hurricane WATCH actions.

• Follow emergency instructions issued by emergency management or public safety officials.

• Notify family, friends and neighbors outside of the area of your evacuation plans so you can re-establish contact after a storm.

A Flash Flood Advisory/Watch/Warning was just broadcast. What does that mean?

Flood Advisory

A Flood Advisory means nuisance flooding is occurring or imminent. A Flood Advisory may be upgraded to a Flash Flood Warning if flooding worsens and poses a threat to life and property. Closely monitor local TV and radio for more information.

Flash Flood Watch

A Flash Flood Watch means heavy rain leading to flash flooding is possible. If you are in the area of a flash flood watch you should be prepared for heavy rains and flooding that may develop. Flash Flood Watches may be issued up to 12 hours before flash flooding is expected to begin and may last as long as 48 hours. Continue to closely monitor local TV and radio for more information.

Flash Flood Warning

This means that flash flooding is occurring or will develop quickly somewhere within the designated area. If your area is identified in a Flash Flood Warning you must take shelter or evacuate to high ground immediately especially if you reside in a flood prone area or near streams and rivers. Closely monitor local TV and radio for more information on flooded areas and public shelters that may be open for evacuees. When evacuating DO NOT drive through flooded areas in your vehicle as parts of the road may already be washed out or the water may be much deeper than it appears. Turn around, don’t drown!

WEATHER RELATED

How can I get current weather information?

Call the National Weather Service at 808-973-4380 for recorded weather information or visit their website at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/. If time permits consider purchasing a NOAA weather alert radio.

NOAA Weather Alert Radios can notify you 24 hours a day to hazards in our area including severe weather, hurricanes and tropical storms and tsunami events. In addition, many of these units can activate other warning devices such as a strobe light to provide a visual warning. These radios are available from most electronics and department stores or online.

In addition, we highly recommend signing up to receive emergency push alert messages and emails sent directly to your cell phone from the City’s Mobile App, HNL.Info. This free mobile app is available to download from iTunes App Store and Google Play. Online web based version at https://hnl.info/alerts.

POST DISASTER RELIEF

When will help be available if my home is damaged or destroyed?

Due to our large population, post disaster relief assistance could take as long as a week to reach everyone on Oahu needing help. Evacuation shelters will remain open as long as there is a need.

Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers (DARCs) will open in affected communities following a major disaster. At DARCs residents can access disaster relief resources of City, State, Federal and non-government agencies all in one place.

Listen to local TV and radio for updates on post disaster relief assistance, shelter updates and opening schedules for DARCs.

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

I have an emergency, what do I do?

Call 9-1-1.

If I need emergency assistance to evacuate what do I do?

If you need emergency assistance to evacuate your home call 9-1-1. Be aware that during an island-wide emergency many people on Oahu will be calling for assistance from Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Emergency assistance could be delayed or in some cases, unavailable especially if streets or highways are impassable. You should seek the assistance of friends or family members to help you with your evacuation, sheltering or disaster assistance needs.

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