Here are a couple cool hurricane factoids, compliments of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA): Hurricanes have “a well defined circulation and sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.” And, interestingly, “the Mayan storm god was named Hunraken, (and) a god considered evil by the Taino people of the Caribbean was called Huracan.” However, rather than interesting is the disconcerting fact that the question “Why don’t we destroy tropical cyclones by nuking them?” appears on NOAA’s online Hurricane FAQ page. (Frequently? Really?!) Regardless, here in Hawaii—where the tropics forgo the traditional four seasons for our own unique few, like “whale” and “hurricane” (June 1 through November 30)—we well know how to appropriately ready ourselves for the worst kinds of weather. Or do we? Even for preparedness pros, a refresher is always helpful. The Department of Health is sponsoring their 4th Annual Hurricane Expo this Saturday, and—among many helpful hints—recommends that individuals, families and businesses review their emergency preparedness plans annually, and update “Go-Kits” by replenishing supplies and medications past their expiration dates. Joining the DOH are co-sponsors Maui County Health Volunteers (a Medical Reserve Corps unit), the Emergency Preparedness Branch of the Maui District Health Office, the Pacific Radio Group, and the Maui County Civil Defense Agency (along with numerous other participating organizations), all of who will be at the ready during this event, to offer practical ideas for keeping your ‘ohana safe and sound. There will even be a free raffle for those neat, crank-powered flashlight/radios. And who knows? You might even meet new friends with whom to trade your “I Survived Iniki” milkcovers and memorabilia (I’ve still got mine). 808-243-8660
Can’t wait until Saturday? Learn more about these colossal storms from the National Hurricane Center at nch.noaa.gov.