East Hawaii News

HEMA, Coast Guard Urge Preparedness

August 3, 2015, 4:26 PM HST
* Updated August 3, 4:30 PM
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Emergency preparations continues for the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency and partnering agencies as Tropical Storm Guillermo continues to head towards the state.

“Although Tropical Storm Guillermo shows signs of weakening, we strongly encourage residents and visitors to prepare themselves and their families for potential severe weather,” said Doug Mayne, Administrator of Emergency Management. “There is some uncertainty associated with weather forecasting, so we need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

It is forecast that Tropical Storm Guillermo will bring potential tropical storm force winds as it passes to the north of the Big Island. Forecasts show that impact could be felt as early as 8 a.m. Wednesday. HEMA says all islands throughout the state should prepare for the potential of heavy rainfall beginning Wednesday and lasting through Thursday.

HEMA suggests the following tips for safety and preparedness:

  • Do not use candles during a blackout or power outage due to risk of fire.
  • Use 9-1-1 only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Make sure to monitor local broadcasters and/or sign up for local notification systems if you live in a flood prone area.
  • Do not attempt to cross fast moving water, especially if you are unsure of the depth.
  • Follow the Department of Education online for the latest information on possible school closures. Make sure you know the closure notification procedure if your children attend a private or charter school.
  • Check with local officials and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) if you plan to hike or camp next week. Parks and other trails may be closed depending on the weather forecast. Visit the DLNR website for the latest closure information.
  • Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure.

In addition, the United States Coast Guard is warning residents and visitors of potentially dangerous weather and sea conditions. High surf is expected throughout the state as Tropical Storm Guillermo continues to trek its way towards the islands.

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The U.S. Coast Guard reminds visitors that all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials should be followed. Weather conditions have the potential to appear good, but rip tides and high surf may impact the beaches far in advance of a storm.

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Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local officials deem the waters safe.

Mariners and beach goers should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through the internet, local television, newspapers, and radio stations. Those on a boat can monitor conditions on VHF channel 16.

In addition to monitoring the storm’s progress, mariners should secure both boats and boating equipment.

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