City Services to be affected by Hurricane Lane
Honolulu — Mayor Kirk Caldwell gathered directors, deputy directors and staff at the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) today to discuss the onset of storm conditions from Hurricane Lane, as well as how various city services will be affected. O‘ahu is now under a hurricane watch. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
Acting upon a recommendation by Hiro Toiya, deputy director of the Department of Emergency Management, Mayor Caldwell activated the city’s EOC at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, August 22, which will require staffing 24/7 until a decision is made to deactivate. The Department of Emergency Management will be opening 20 hurricane shelters at various locations around Oahu in coordination with the American Red Cross (see attached list and map).
SHELTERS - Open 10AM Thursday, August 23, 2018
While hurricane evacuation shelters offer some protection from high winds and flying debris, they are intended to be a last resort option for residents and visitors to use at their own risk. In almost all cases, the identified evacuation shelters HAVE NOT been designed or hardened for winds greater than a tropical storm (39 mph). These shelters are, however, a safer option than remaining in areas prone to flooding or storm surge inundation, on exposed ridge lines or in older homes with wood frames or single wall construction. Whenever possible, the public should plan to shelter in place or stay with family or friends in homes outside of these hazard areas that were designed, built, or renovated to withstand anticipated conditions.
Evacuees should not expect personal care attendants or caregivers to be available at evacuation shelters. Only general assistance and accommodations will be provided. In addition, evacuation shelters DO NOT stock supplies. You must bring your own food, water, bedding and other emergency supplies with you.
Household pets entering shelters must be in a pet carrier or cage for safety and owners must provide water and food for their pets, and will be expected to assist in the care of their animals.
If anyone has questions about closures or city services, they are asked to call 768-CITY.
The following is a preliminary plan for service curtailment in preparation for Hurricane Lane. These times are subject to change with updated weather reports:
• TheBus will run a full regular weekday schedule on Thursday, August 23, until 6 p.m.
o All trips originating from their start points after 6 p.m. will be cancelled.
o TheBus trips underway before 6 p.m. will complete their route as scheduled.
• TheHandi-Van will not offer trips after 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 23.
• Both TheBus and TheHandi-Van will not offer regular service on Friday, August 24. Pending weather conditions, DTS will coordinate when service will resume.
• Evacuation operations for transport to shelters will commence on the morning of Thursday, August 23, starting at 9 a.m. These special buses will be signed “EVACUATION” and do not require a fare. Pets will be accepted as long as they are not a threat to other passengers and other pets onboard. These buses will be deployed as needed and dispatched by Department of Emergency Management staff.
ALL THESE PLANS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON HURRICANE LANE’S TRACK AND POSSIBLE LANDFALL.
There will be no opala pickup Friday and Saturday. No bulky trash will be picked up starting on Thursday. Residents are asked to secure any loose bulky items.
HOMELESS OUTREACH PLAN:
Homeless service providers have been doing outreach for the past few days to unsheltered clients especially in low-lying areas. Transportation using the “EVACUATION” buses will be provided to people in unsheltered locations to evacuation shelters around the O‘ahu.
DEPARTMENT OF PARK AND RECREATION:
Parks will be closed island-wide starting Thursday, this includes Hanauma Bay. Camping permits are being retracted for the upcoming camping period. Instructions on refunds for those who are already holding permits will be forthcoming. Walk-in class registration for Fall Programs has been postponed for many park sites, mainly in Park Districts 3 and 4. Those include city park facilities from ‘Aiea to Mākaha and Wahiawā for District 3, and the windward and North shore sites for District 4.
Beach parks will be closed starting Thursday until further notice. Lifeguards will continue to monitor beach parks in mobile response units. However, residents and visitors should not utilize the beach parks at this time. Don’t put yourself and our first responders at risk.
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU EMPLOYEES:
The City and County of Honolulu will be granting administrative leave for non-emergency county workers on Thursday and Friday. Essential employees are required to report to work.
ZOO AND GOLF COURSES:
Closed Thursday and Friday.
CUSTOMER SERVICES DEPARTMENT:
Driver training and driver’s license appointments are suspended Thursday and Friday. The Department of Customer Services will be contacting those who had a road test cancelled in order to reschedule. A decision on Saturday appointments is pending.
All DOE schools are closed Thursday and Friday.
One of the best ways to stay informed about Hurricane Lane is to download the city’s smartphone app, HNL.info, which is also available as a website. Residents and visitors can track Hurricane Lane directly by visiting the Central Pacific Hurricane Center website at: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/
Ever since the approach of another tropical cyclone, Hurricane Hector approximately two weeks ago, the Department of Facility Maintenance has been checking streams and channels for possible blockages. However, the city cannot clear debris from waterways that originate deep in O‘ahu’s valleys, and urges residents to report any illegal dumping to the Department of Facility Maintenance Clean Streams Hotline at 768-7890.
The Department of Emergency Management is in communication with the O‘ahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to ensure visitors are prepared. Visitors should be aware of Hurricane Lane’s approach to the Hawaiian Islands. It’s incumbent on our visitors to pay attention to warnings issued by local media and government sources, as well as keeping up to date with any announcements made by the O‘ahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
Mayor Caldwell and the city’s Department of Emergency Management urges all residents to know the following:
Take the time now to consider basic disaster preparedness and what actions you or your family will take in the event a hurricane threatens O‘ahu. Due to our isolation and large population nearing one million residents it could be many days before local disaster relief efforts reach all of those who are affected.
Individuals, families and businesses should be prepared to be on their own for at least 14 days. Assemble basic supplies such as food, water, clothing and important medications for a 14-day kit. Also, visit our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM for more disaster preparedness information and to access downloadable information sheets.
Be aware that if you live on the shoreline or near the ocean you may have to evacuate due to the hazard of hurricane produced storm surge. Review coastal evacuation maps in your telephone white pages or visit our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM and follow the instructions on the Tsunami Map Viewer to quickly see if you are in a tsunami/hurricane evacuation zone.
Emergency Alert System (EAS):
Important official emergency information such as evacuation notification and shelter locations will be broadcast over all TV and radio stations statewide using the EAS. Should your power go out during an emergency such as a hurricane, it then becomes vitally important that each household have a battery operated radio and spare batteries on hand to receive emergency information. Newer hand-crank generators or solar powered radios are also a good option. EAS broadcasts for major coastal evacuations will be aired in conjunction with a three-minute sounding of all Outdoor Siren Warning Systems on O‘ahu.
Emergency and Community Information via Social Media/Online:
Like and Follow the Department of Emergency Management on Twitter at @Oahu_DEM and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OahuDEM. Additional preparedness information can also be found on our website at www.honolulu.gov/DEM. Residents are also urged to follow Mayor Caldwell’s social media channels at: Twitter: @MayorKirkHNL; Facebook: facebook.com/MayorKirk; Instagram: instagram.com/mayorkirkhnl; and YouTube: youtube.com/MayorKirkHNL.
Emergency Email and Text Message Alerts:
O‘ahu residents are encouraged to sign-up to receive emergency email, cellphone text messages and push alerts from the City and County of Honolulu by downloading the free HNL.info app from the App Store or Google Play. You can also register online at https://hnl.info/alerts/login.php. HNL.info is also perfect for vacationers and out of town family or guests. Standard text messaging rates may apply depending on your wireless carrier and plan.
Preparing your home:
• Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.
• Be prepared to bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
• Be prepared to cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
Check insurance policies:
Remember that homeowners insurance alone will not cover hurricane damage. You will need separate policies for hurricane as well as flood insurance to protect against damage from coastal flooding. You can buy flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program. Make sure to check and know what your existing insurance policies will or will not cover.
Non-English Speakers and Disabled:
If you have a family member who does not speak English or a family member who, due to a disability cannot receive emergency information readily, we highly recommend forming a core group of family or friends who can assist with translations or providing important emergency information as well as assisting with disaster preparedness actions and if needed, evacuation
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms:
Once a storm system crosses the 140-degree west longitude mark, it enters the Central Pacific area and would be in “Hawaiian” waters. Carefully monitor any hurricanes or tropical storms that develop or enter into Hawaiian waters until they safely pass our islands or dissipate.