HI-EMA, Coast Guard, Partners Prep for HildaAugust 11, 2015, 3:46 PM HST (Updated August 11, 2015, 3:48 PM)
As recently-downgraded Tropical Storm Hilda continues on its path towards the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency, local emergency management and civil defense agencies, and federal and state partners continue to work together to monitor the storm as it continues to weaken.
HI-EMA recommends that all residents and visitors on the Big Island take necessary precautions and prepare for potential impact of a storm:
- Identify small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds. Make a plan to bring these items indoors if a hurricane/tropical storm watch or warning is issued.
- High winds may affect your travel plans. Check with your airline prior to any planned flights this week and avoid traveling during times of increased wind activity if at all possible.
- Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.
- If you require special medical assistance, make arrangements in advance of the storm’s arrival (i.e. If your medication needs to be chilled, begin building up your ice reserves).
- Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure.
A Tropical Storm Watch, Flash Flood Watch and High Surf Advisory are all currently in effect for the Big Island.
Potential impacts from Tropical Storm Hilda are forecast to begin as early as Wednesday evening, with tropical storm force winds a potential beginning Thursday morning. It’s predicted that Tropical Storm Hilda will act more as a wet event with large amounts of rain rather than a wind event.
Advisory level surf along east facing shores is already being seen.
The United States Coast Guard is urging the public to use extreme caution as preparations for the onset of heavy weather is expected to generate severe sea conditions, storm surge, and high surf as Tropical Storm Hilda approaches.
“While Tropical Storm Guillermo had little impact on Hawai’i, we remain vigilant as hurricanes are unpredictable and can intensify quickly or change course,” said Lt. j.g. Chris Sena, command duty officer, Coast Guard 14th District command center. “Err on the side of caution, no one should underestimate the potential for dangerous storm conditions. Hilda is expected to pass the Hawaiian Islands by mid to late week and we will continue to monitor it into the far Western Pacific.”
Both residents and visitors should be aware of all warnings by lifeguards and public health and safety officials.
Boats and boating equipment should be secured as the storm is expected to pass just south of the Big Island.
As of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. update, Tropical Storm Hilda was about 275 miles southeast of Hilo, moving west at about six miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 70 mph.