Free hurricane-preparedness seminars set

LIHUE — With the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Iniki approaching, it’s important for residents to be prepared in case of any natural disaster.

John Smith, owner of Storm Stoppers Hurricane Protection, is spearheading two more hurricane preparedness seminars on Kauai to raise awareness regarding proper safety methods in case of a storm, how hurricanes form, how people can find information about storms, and where the nearest shelters are on the island.

The seminars are 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Lihue Public Library and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Koloa Neighborhood Center.

In July, Smith held a Hurricane Preparedness event in Princeville, which over 40 people attended. Smith said there was another strong showing on Thursday, which proves the interest level on Kauai to be prepared for natural disasters.

Smith’s business, Storm Stoppers, is a new method of hurricane preparedness, replacing the old ways of boarding up windows with wooden planks. He said that the market for his product on Kauai has grown exponentially over recent months.

“It’s extremely busy. Everywhere we go, people say the same thing. The island needs Storm Stoppers,” he said. “The market has been very enthusiastic because people hate the alternatives. The thing we hear again and again, is that it’s easy (to install). It’s strong, but it’s easy.”

Smith was featured on the ABC series “Shark Tank” on Nov. 14, 2014. He didn’t get an investor, but the exposure boosted his business.

But while he wants people to to know about his product, Smith wants, first and foremost, the public to know that the meetings are to help residents prepare for the worst, not product placement.

“The meetings aren’t about Storm Stoppers,” he said. “I come here once a month for 11 days at a time. I want people on Kauai to know where my heart is.”

The seminars will feature guest speakers.

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