As Hurricane Season Arrives, HELCO Urges Emergency Preparedness
The 2021 Central Pacific hurricane season has officially begun.
Forecasters are predicting two to five tropical cyclones for the Central Pacific in 2021, an estimate that includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes. That compares to a normal season with a range of four or five tropical cyclones, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.
Hawaiian Electric sent out information advising its customers, both residential and commercial, to be prepared and have emergency plans in place.
To prepare for the hurricane season, customers can refer to the company’s Handbook for Emergency Preparedness. The handbook and a keiki-friendly booklet, featuring Maka the Super Safety Hero, are available at the following website: hawaiianelectric.com/prepare. On Hawai‘i Island, printed copies of the handbook are available at public libraries, Ace Hardware and Ben Franklin stores, and at Sunshine True Value Hardware in Hawi. You may also call Hawaiian Electric at (808) 969-0137 for copies of the publications.
Residents should develop their own emergency plans and consider these tips:
• Gather emergency supplies, such as a battery-powered radio, flashlights, lanterns and batteries. Be prepared to monitor communications over emergency broadcast radio stations.
• Store enough water, non-perishable food, medicine and personal hygiene supplies for your family members and pets to last at least 14 days.
• Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electric appliances and equipment during a storm or a power outage. When power comes back and is stable, plug in the equipment one at a time.
• Shut off your electricity at the main breaker or switch if you need to evacuate.
• Consider having a backup generator if you are dependent on an electrically powered life support system. Or, make plans to go to an alternate location where electricity will be available. Be prepared to take your medical equipment and medications with you.
• If your business or residence is equipped with a backup generator, learn how to properly operate the device to avoid causing damage or injury.
• Prepare a list of emergency contacts including phone numbers for insurance agents, vendors, physicians, or any other important individuals.
• If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and dangerous. Stay away from downed power lines – at least 30 feet or more (at least two car lengths).
• For updates and alerts, follow Hawaiian Electric on Twitter or via our free mobile app (available on Apple App and Google Play stores).