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Honolulu mayor urges residents, tourists to track Hurricane Lane’s progress

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell spoke Monday during a briefing on Hurricane Lane at the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

With Hurricane Lane forecast this week to follow a Hurricane Iniki-like path toward the Hawaiian islands, Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants residents and visitors to keep track of Lane’s progress.

The city encourages people to sign up for emergency email, cellphone text messages and push alerts from the city by downloading the free HNL.info app from the App Store or Google Play; or register online.

People also can follow Hurricane Lane’s progress and get preparedness information by following the Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and on Facebook or at the department’s website. People can also follow Caldwell’s social media channels at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center provides updates at its website.

“As Hurricane Lane continues to track toward Hawaii, the current forecast by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center calls for the possibility of high surf and rip currents, thunderstorms and even tropical storm force winds if the storm skirts Oahu’s Leeward Coast,” Caldwell said in a statement. “It’s important for residents and visitors to stay alert and stay informed.”

Caldwell and the city’s Department of Emergency Management warned residents that relief efforts could take “many days” to reach everyone on Oahu affected by a hurricane and suggested that everyone consider disaster preparedness, including action plans for family members.

“Individuals, families and businesses should be prepared to be on their own for at least 14 days,” the city said in a statement. “Assemble basic supplies such as food, water, clothing and important medications for a 14-day kit. Also, visit our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM for more disaster preparedness information and to access downloadable information sheets.”

The city’s Department of Facility Maintenance has been checking streams and channels ever since Hurricane Hector moved into Hawaiian waters approximately two weeks ago, city spokesman Andrew Pereira said.

But city crews cannot clear debris high in Oahu’s valleys, so city officials urge residents to report illegal dumping to the Department of Facility Maintenance Streams Hotline at 768-7890.

This morning Caldwell led a briefing on Hurricane Lane at the city’s Emergency Operations Center that included directors and staff of city departments as well as the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Another briefing is scheduled for Tuesday morning, the third on Hurricane Lane.

If hurricane shelters need to open, the Department of Parks and Recreation said pets will be allowed that are properly secured and do not pose a danger.

The city’s Department of Transportation Services plans to use city buses to take residents to shelters, including people who are homeless.

The Department of Emergency Management also is working with the Oahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority to prepare visitors.

City officials said tourists should not cancel plans, but should be aware of Hurricane Lane’s progress and pay attention to warnings through local media, government sources, the Oahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Evacuations may be needed for people who live near the ocean.

Coastal evacuation maps and tsunami/evacuation zones can be found in the telephone white pages or at Emergency Management’s website.

Emergency Alert System broadcasts for major coastal evacuations are scheduled to air over television and radio stations, along with a three-minute sounding of all Outdoor Siren Warning Systems across Oahu.

The city suggested that people:

>> Clear drains and gutters, consider installing hurricane shutters and review insurance policies. Homeowners’ insurance will not cover hurricane damage, the city said. Homeowners need separate policies for hurricane and flood insurance to protect against damage from coastal flooding. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program.

>> Be prepared to bring loose, lightweight objects — such as patio furniture and garbage — inside that could become projectiles in high winds; and anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside such as propane tanks; and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.

>> Be prepared to cover windows or board them up with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood.

>> For non-English speakers and those with disabilities, the city recommends forming a core group of family or friends who can assist with translations, provide emergency information or help with disaster preparedness.

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