Three weeks after storm preppers wiped out shelves of bottled water and other hurricane essentials, many were back at it Monday as another tropical storm was predicted to hit the islands.
Waialua resident Tammy Parker had a full cart while shopping at the Waipio Costco with her in-laws, Dave and Liz Parker, even though they still have ample supplies from their purchase ahead of Hurricane Lane. Lane was eventually turned into a tropical storm.
“We never even drank (bottled) water or anything, we told the kids hands off. Chances are it’ll be just another thing like Hurricane Lane but … you can’t tell. You don’t want to be caught if you’re not (prepared),” she said. “The last time with Hurricane Lane we got caught without gas. We had to go looking for gas so we are prepping whether it comes or not. Better safe than sorry.”
U.S. Navy veteran Carl Krause, 49, picked up four cases of water at Costco to add to the four cases he already had at home. He also has two 27-gallon containers full of disaster supplies, including lamps, fuel, stoves and batteries.
“The Navy taught me to be prepared for everything. It’s ingrained in me,” said the Mililani resident, who oils his camping stoves once a year to ensure they’re always in working condition. “I think people wait too long and they wait to the last minute before they react — that’s what causes all these big problems. I’m always prepared. That’s because I don’t want to get caught with nothing. I can’t help myself, especially after the first hurricane I was in, Iniki. I buy everything.”
There weren’t as many storm preppers this time around at Hawaii Tactical Outfitter, which sells military gear, sporting goods and disaster supplies.
“The last time there was a hurricane we sold out on a lot of stuff. We’ve got a little bit stocked back up but our shipments take forever to get to the islands,” an employee said. “It doesn’t seem to be as much (shoppers) this time around. I feel like people aren’t freaking out as much about this one.”
Pearl City resident Belle Anderson is already prepared after buying a half-dozen cases of water and “a lot of canned goods” during the last storm.
“We’re not going to starve, that’s for sure,” she said. “We already prepped the first time so now we’re just brushing up and just adding some stuff that we maybe used. We used some of the water and then we used a few of the canned goods during this waiting period so now we’re just adding them back on. We’re good.”
WHAT’S OPEN, CLOSED
>> Hana High and Elementary School closed today.
>> Maui County afterschool activities and programs, including interscholastic athletic events and After-School Plus (A+) Programs, canceled today.
>> University of Hawaii Maui Hana Education Center, closed today until further notice.
>> All Hawaii island and Maui Nui lands under the jurisdiction of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) close at noon today, including forest reserves, natural area reserves, game management areas, wildlife sanctuaries, public hunting areas and Na Ala Hele trails. Waianapanapa State Park, Maui will close at noon today while other Maui Nui Parks will close at regular times today ; Hawai‘i island east side parks will close at noon today, while west side parks will be evaluated for closing as the storm approaches.
>> All state small boat harbors, operated by the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will remain open during the storm and provide safe harbor for small vessels.
>> The U.S. Coast Guard set port condition Yankee for Honolulu County ports at 6 p.m. Monday, followed by Kauai county ports at 8 p.m. Monday. Port condition Yankee is set 24 hours in advance of potential storm force winds (39 miles per hour and higher). Hawaii and Maui County ports, meanwhile, were expected to be set at port condition Zulu at 8 p.m. Monday. At port condition Yankee, no vessels may enter, transit, or remain within the harbor safety zone without permission of the Captain of the Port.
>> The Hawaii Department of Transportation says state airports will remain open unless there is damage to the runway or terminal. Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole, however, may restrict passenger boarding and deplaning during high winds or heavy rains.
>> Air travelers with confirmed tickets are encouraged to check with their airline for potential flight delays, cancellations or travel waivers.
>> International Market Place and Royal Hawaiian Center intend to remain open and keep regular hours from 10 a.m to 10 p.m.
>> The state Highways Division has no plans to preemptively close any state routes. Motorists are advised to use caution on roadways with a history of flooding, landslides, rockfalls or tree fall hazards.
>> Honolulu Museum of Art School studio classes will be canceled today, Wednesday and Thursday, and rescheduled at a later time. The opening of the “Ho‘oulu Hawai‘i: The King Kalakaua Era” exhibit and reception on Thursday has been rescheduled for Sunday. The Honolulu Museum of Art, however, will be open during normal operating hours this week.