East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Electric Light Preps Ahead of Niala

September 25, 2015, 6:21 PM HST
* Updated September 25, 6:32 PM
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As Tropical Storm Niala nears the state, Hawai’i Electric Light is taking necessary preparations for potential impact the storm.

“We care about our customers and want them to know that we’re here for them and ready to help,” said Kristen Okinaka, public information officer. “We encourage customers who experience a power outage or see a downed power line to call us at 969-6666 so we can assist them.”

Hawai’i Electric Light says that safety is the company’s number one priority, and customers should abide by the following safety tips while preparing for a storm.

  • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, emergency generators, battery-operated (hand-crank or solar) radios, light sticks, and lanterns, and buy extra batteries. Do not use candles.
  • If someone in your home depends on an electrically-powered life support system and you don’t have a backup generator, make plans in advance to go to a safe location where electricity will be available. Some shelters are designed for people with health needs—just remember to take your own medical equipment and medications.
  • 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.
  • Store matches or a lighter in a waterproof container.
  • For cooking, purchase butane, propane, or a canned heat stove and enough fuel for seven days, or a charcoal grill and charcoal. Do not use these units indoors.
  • Properly secure propane tanks in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated storage area.
  • Before a storm hits or if there is a power outage, unplug all unnecessary electric equipment and appliances until the storm has passed or until power is restored.
  • Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Should you need to evacuate, take emergency supplies and remember to shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch.
  • When using a portable generator, carefully read and follow instructions in the manufacturer’s manual. Do not plug the generator into your household electrical outlets.
  • If you have a rooftop photovoltaic system, consult with your licensed solar contractor regarding normal and emergency operation procedures for your solar system. As a safety precaution, most photovoltaic systems are designed to safely shut down during outages. PV systems typically have monitoring systems which allow owners to check on the status of their system.
  • If you become trapped in an elevator during a power outage, relax and stay calm until help arrives. Use elevator emergency communication systems to report where you are and who is with you. Do not try to force open elevator doors. Never try to exit a stalled elevator car. Always wait for trained and qualified emergency personnel.

Hawai’i Electric Light invites the public to review its Information Handbook for Emergency Preparedness.


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