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Hawaiian Electric prepares for Hurricane Douglas, offers tips for home and family

Hawaiian Electric said it is proactively preparing to respond to the impacts of Hurricane Douglas as the Category 3 storms approaches the islands, bringing the potential for high winds and heavy rains this weekend.

The utility is preparing to move crews and equipment to areas most likely to be affected — with forecasts currently showing impacts to Hawaii island as early as Saturday night and other isles Sunday afternoon.

Customers, meanwhile, should have their emergency plans in place and prepare supply kits while monitoring the storm’s development.

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Due to the ongoing pandemic, residents are urged to shelter in place, if possible, rather than go to emergency shelters, which will be limited due to physical distancing requirements.

Also, home health care patients should discuss emergency plans with their physicians or agency representative beforehand and make evacuation arrangements with a hospital or emergency facility ahead of time. Storm shelters generally provide first aid, not nursing care or medical assistance.

Hawaiian Electric offered the following advice:

>> Unplug electric appliances you may not need or use until the storm has passed or until power is restored

>> Turn your refrigerator/freezer to the coldest setting; in the event of a power outage, food will keep fresh longer

>> Stock an ice chest with ice or frozen ice packs

>> Check emergency equipment such as flashlights, emergency generators, battery-operated (hand-crank or solar) radios, light sticks, and lanterns to be sure they are operational.

>> Buy extra batteries

>> Stock up on non-perishable foods, medications, personal hygiene, sanitary and baby supplies to last 14 days. If you own a pet, have extra pet food and water

>> Keep a first aid kit and special medications

>> Store matches or a lighter in a waterproof container

>> Keep a whistle to signal for help

If you need to evacuate:

>> Pack COVID-19 safety supplies like face cloth coverings, disinfecting supplies, and hand sanitizers in case you need to evacuate

>> Pack a manual can opener and bottle opener

Actions to take to prepare the outside of the home include:

>> Tying down or store loose objects

>> Bringing potted plants inside

>> Removing and storing lanai furniture

>> Pushing deck furniture into the pool

>> Covering all windows and door openings with boards, shutters, or other shielding materials

>>Wedging a dowel or part of broom handle into the sliding glass doors track to secure them

>> Consult with your licensed solar contractor for normal and emergency operation procedures for your solar photovoltaic system. As a safety precaution, most PV systems are designed to safely shut down during outages.

More electrical safety and preparation tips are available in the company’s Handbook for Emergency Preparedness, available in five languages, at hawaiianelectric.com/prepare.

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