Hurricane Kit Checklist & Preparedness TipsAugust 21, 2018, 8:59 AM HST (Updated August 22, 2018, 8:42 AM)
Carefully monitor any hurricanes or tropical storms that develop or enter into Hawaiian waters until they safely pass the islands or dissipate.
As Hurricane Lane continues on its path towards the islands, BigIslandNow.com has compiled some preparedness tips provided by organizations, government agencies and the Red Cross.
Below is a compilation of information including a recommended checklist for emergency kits, how to protect your home, and what kind of items would be helpful during power outages, flooding or high-wind events.
TO RECEIVE HURRICANE LANE ALERTS FROM THE HPD, TEXT 888777.
ACCESS THE HAWAI‘I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE HERE.
FOR A DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST FROM READY.ORG, CLICK HERE.
- 14-day supply of non-perishable foods (with little to no cooking required)
- Water (a minimum of 1-gallon per person per day for drinking and additional uses)
- Flashlights or lanterns (battery, hand crank or solar powered)
- Cell phone and charger
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Portable radio (battery, hand crank or solar powered)
- Extra batteries
- Manual can and bottle opener
- Butane/propane stove or charcoal grill with fuel
- Ice chest and ice or frozen ice packs
- Matches and/or lighter
- Mosquito repellant
- Cash or travelers checks
- Personal hygiene, sanitary supplies and diapers
- First aid kit and medicines
- Special needs supplies (eyeglasses, hearing aid, medical bracelet, etc)
If You Need to Evacuate
In addition to the items mentioned above, add:
- Important papers/photos
- One complete change of clothing and sturdy shoes
- Sleeping bag and/or blanket
First Aid Kit
Current prescription medications (ideally 14-day supply)
Bandages, plastic strip, assorted sizes
Water purification materials
Aspirin (or aspirin-free tablets or capsules)
Prepare Your Home
- Tie down or store all loose objects including plants
- Unplug electric appliances you may not need or use
- Cover all windows and door openings with boards or shielding materials
- Properly secure propane tanks
- Secure elevators on the top floor of your condominium
Additional Home Preparedness Tips
- Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.
- Be prepared to bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
- Be prepared to cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
Check Insurance Policies
Remember that homeowners insurance alone will not cover hurricane damage. You will need separate policies for hurricane as well as flood insurance to protect against damage from coastal flooding. You can buy flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program. Make sure to check and know what your existing insurance policies will or will not cover.
American Red Cross Hurricane Preparation Tips
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tank.
- Unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
- Obey evacuation orders.
- Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Preparedness and Response Tips
Residents should take the following steps to protect their health and safety during the storm:
Prepare before a storm for your medical needs.
- If you regularly take prescription medicines, check your inventory. If you are low on prescription medicine, check into the possibility of refilling your prescriptions early.
- If you take medications that need to be refrigerated, talk with your doctor about how to keep them properly stored if the electricity goes out so the medicine remains effective.
- If you have a doctor’s appointment scheduled during the immediate time period during or after the storm for a health condition that requires regular monitoring or follow up, call your doctor’s office to see if you should reschedule your appointment before the storm hits.
- For those who use oxygen concentrators, ventilators, or other medical devices at home, start making plans to ensure your equipment is fully charged and know where to go if the battery does not work. If you use a dialysis center, talk with your doctor or staff at the center about coming in for early dialysis and where to go if the center is closed after the storm.
- If you have chronic or complicated health issues and live alone make sure you have a plan to touch base with your family or friends. They will want to know that you are alright or if you need help. Letting your relatives know your plans also prevents them from going into storm-hit areas to search for you, putting themselves in harm’s way.
- Make sure to have enough drinkable water available to prevent dehydration. Also, if you have special dietary requirements, you should have enough on hand to last several days after the storm.
- People who have service animals or pets should make sure there is enough water, food, and medications (if needed) for them to last until several days after the storm.
Plan for medical care in case of evacuation.
- Make sure you have the necessary medical paperwork with you, including your insurance cards, list of your current medications, list of any drug allergies, and contact information for your physicians.
- If you need to evacuate, determine where you would go to receive medical care at that location.
Keep food safe during disasters.
- Before the storm hits, move food to high shelves that will be as safe as possible from flooding. If food or bottles may have come into contact with flood water, consider them contaminated.
- Begin freezing containers of water now so if the power goes out you can use that ice to help keep your food and medications cold. You also can buy ice or gel packs to keep food cold.
- Freeze refrigerated items like leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you do not need immediately so they will remain at a safe temperature longer without electricity. To keep items frozen for longer, group them together in the freezer.
- To keep your food at safe temperatures the longest, avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer. Your refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the doors stay closed, and a full freezer will maintain its temperature for approximately 48 hours. A half-full freezer only maintains its temperature for about 24 hours.
- Place appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer so you will know if the food is a safe temperature. You should set your freezer at or below 0°F, and your refrigerator should be set to at or below 40°F.
- Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross-contamination in case they thaw.
- If food in your freezer has ice crystals or is below 40°F, the food may be safely refrozen.
- When it comes to the safety of your food, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Learn more at foodsafety.gov.
Protect your health during post-disaster clean-up, before the storm hits.
- If you haven’t had a tetanus vaccine in the past 10 years, get vaccinated because people can get infected with tetanus disease while cleaning up after storms. The bacteria that cause tetanus commonly can be found in soil, manure and dust, and infection can occur through punctures and even small scratches.
Non-English Speakers and Disabled
If you have a family member who does not speak English or a family member who, due to a disability cannot receive emergency information readily, it is highly recommend that they form a core group of family or friends who can assist with translations or providing important emergency information as well as assisting with disaster preparedness actions and if needed, evacuation.