LIHU‘E — The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, as well as high surf and flash flood warnings for the islands.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
Forecasters say Hurricane Douglas may bring damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and high surf to parts of the state today and possibly into Monday. There is the potential for rain and winds from 74-110 mph. NWS urges immediate preparation for the storm.
Officials recommend that residents and visitors take the following actions when preparing for a weather emergency:
· Emergency Preparedness Kits – Emergency preparedness kits should contain at least a 14-day supply of food and water (to include non-perishable food and one gallon of water per person per day). Kits should also include a battery powered radio, flashlight, an extra supply of prescription medicines and other items specific to individual and family needs. It is also recommended that face coverings and hand sanitizer be included in your kits. 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.
· Check Your Property – Walk your property, checking for small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds, and check for potential flood threats. If time and conditions permit, clear your gutters and other drainage systems.
· Make an Action Plan – Discuss with family members what you plan to do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Make an action plan, which should include details such as whether your family will shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. There are no plans to open shelters at this time; however, the county will work with the American Red Cross to open shelters on an as-needed basis and will announce a list of open shelters if or when they become available.
· County Services/Facilities – Based on the current forecast, the county has closed all county beach parks and campgrounds, as of Sunday, July 26. For campers leaving the beach parks or any individuals who are unable to shelter with family or friends, the American Red Cross is prepared to open shelters on Sunday afternoon at the Kilauea and Kalāheo neighborhood centers and Kaua‘i Community College, if conditions warrant. Additional shelters will open if capacity is exceeded. The Koloa HI5 Redemption Center operated by KCRS will be closed Sunday, July 26, due to concern over Hurricane Douglas impacts.
· State Facilities – State Parks on Kaua‘i will be closed on Sunday, subject to change based upon the storm and/or storm damage.
· Visitor Information – Visitors are urged to confirm flight arrangements with their airlines prior to heading to the airport. Visitors should review the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s travel safety tips at http://www.travelsmarthawaii.com. A copy of their brochure can also be downloaded from the site.
· Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative – KIUC members should prepare for potential storm impacts and possible power outages. Please see more information at the end of this news release, or visit http://website.kiuc.coop/.
· Kaua‘i Department of Water – DOW officials advise that during a weather emergency, strong winds and/or flooding can disrupt electrical power to DOW pumps and equipment, road-access to water sources, and may impact water quality. For more information on preparedness tips for a water emergency, please visit www.kauaiwater.org or see more information at the end of this news release.
· Stay Tuned – Continue to stay tuned to local media broadcast channels for the most up-to-date information. The following provides a list of important resources on emergency preparedness.
o Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency – www.kauai.gov/kema
o NOAA Central Pacific Hurricane Center – www.hurricanes.gov/cphc
o National Weather Service – www.weather.gov/hfo, or automated weather line at 245-6001
o Blackboard Connect (The county’s free emergency notification service) – Sign up at www.kauai.gov/kema, or call the KEMA at 241-1800
Preparedness tips from Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC):
· Protect your appliances and sensitive equipment from power outages and surges that may occur because of bad weather by using surge protectors.
· During a storm turn off and unplug all unnecessary appliances or equipment.
· Keep a portable battery-powered radio and flashlights on hand with extra batteries.
· In case of loss of power, when the power comes back on and is steady, gradually plug in your appliances.
· In the event of high winds, objects can come into contact with overhead lines and electrical equipment causing power interruptions. Sometimes during high winds power lines are knocked down. If you see any lines from utility poles on the ground, assume that they are dangerous and call 911.
Preparedness tips from Kaua‘i Department of Water (DOW):
· Stay tuned to news reports.
· Turn off or disconnect any devices or fixtures that regularly draw water, such as automatic ice makers, irrigation systems, etc.
· Store enough water for you and your family:
o Use clean containers, preferably those designed for water storage. Refrain from reusing food storage containers that may have contained food with strong odors (such as mayonnaise or pickles) or containers that previously stored non-food items as the water will pick up the odor during storage. Store water containers in a cool, dry place.
o Disinfect containers. Wash containers thoroughly, then rinse it in a mild bleach solution (one capful of liquid bleach to one gallon of water), then rinse thoroughly.
o Fill container with water from the tap. Fill the container to the top, keeping minimal amount of air between the water and the cap. Store it in cool, dark place.