Leave it to CNN to report today that even Hurricanes Iselle and Julio are bearing down on Hawaii, one a mere thousand miles behind the other, “Tropical cyclones in the Pacific do not worry some Hawaiian residents because direct hits historically have been so rare on the islands.” Their source for the non-worry? A guy in Hilo and two people on Twitter.
“Can’t wait for the storm to hit, I’m ready for some rain,” one Twitter user in Hawaii wrote. Another wrote: “Is it bad that my family is doing literally NOTHING to prepare for the hurricane?”
Despite the report above noting that “There are no lines at the supermarket or stocking of supplies, even though Iselle is on a forecast track to hit the islands on Thursday,” Costco in Kahului was packed at opening this morning. Even worse, Maui Electric has taken to sending out news releases on electrical safety during big storms.
Did they not read the CNN story that says three people in Hawaii aren’t worried about the upcoming storms? Anyway, in case you’re not the guy or the two Twitter users cited by CNN, here’s what Maui Electric says you should do to be safe during the upcoming storms:
- 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.
- Make plans in advance to go to a safe location where electricity will be available if someone in your home depends on an electrically powered life support system and you don’t have a backup generator. Some shelters are designed for people with health needs—just remember to take your own medical equipment and medications.
- 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.
As always, try to stay safe, and use good judgment if things get hairy.
Photo: Francis E Williams/Wikimedia Commons