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Harvey Has Our Attention!

Hurricane Harvey is on our minds.  It's in the news and the victims are in our hearts and prayers.  

Living in Hawaii, surrounded by ocean, we feel the magnitude of such disasters probably more acutely than most because it's a reminder that it could happen to us.

It wasn't that long ago that Hurricane Iselle toppled albizias and made a mess of the Big Island.  Last summer, it felt like the Pacific was lobbing one hurricane after the other at us, but we were good dodge ball players.  This year has been relatively quiet but the season isn't over until November.

The civil defense tries every year to make sure we are prepared for hurricanes, both on a government level and on a personal level.  Are you ready?  Although (depending on who you ask), the Big Island has never experienced a hurricane making landfall, it's never a bad idea to go through the checklist.

  • Talk with family members and develop a clear understanding what you will do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Prepare an action plan that includes details such as whether your family plans to shelter in place or evacuate. • 
  • Know if your home is in an inundation zone, flood zone, or susceptible to high winds and other hazards. Know if your home is retrofitted with hurricane resistant clips or straps. • 
  • Stay tuned to local media and their websites/applications regarding weather updates.  • 
  • Sign up for local notification systems (i.e., HNL Info, Blackboard CTY). • 
  • Get to know your neighbors and community so you can help each other. • 
  • Download the “Ready Hawaii: app from the iTunes or Google Play! store. This app can aid in your emergency planning and will list shelters if they are opened for evacuation. • 
  • Walk your property and check for potential flood threats. Clear your gutters and other drainage systems. Remove and secure loose items. Keep your car gas tanks filled. • 
  • Prepare your pets by checking or purchasing a carrier and other preparedness items. A pet carrier is necessary for your pet’s safety if you plan to evacuate to a pet-friendly shelter. Don’t forget 14 days of food and water for your furry family members. • 
  • 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. • 
  • Secure your important documents in protective containers. • 
  • Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure at • 
  • Build an emergency kit – now.

And if you're looking for a good way to donate to Hurricane Harvey victims, please read this article by The New York Times to learn how to avoid scams and be most effective with your dollars.

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