Hurricane Lane is projected to either pass close to or make a direct hit to the Hawaiian islands this week. Some tourists are trying to leave the islands before the potential hit, with airline cues for wait lists of available seats spiking overnight.
The Department of Emergency Management is working with the Oahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority to prepare visitors. City officials said tourists should not cancel plans but should be aware of Hurricane Lane’s progress and pay attention to warnings through local media, government sources, the Oahu Visitors Bureau, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
In preparation, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell held a briefing at the city’s Emergency Operations Center urging tourists and residents to sign up for emergency email, cell texts, and push alerts from the city. The free HNL.info app is available from the App Store or Google play or by registering online.
People also can follow Hurricane Lane’s progress and get preparedness information by following the Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and on Facebook or at the department’s website. People can also follow Caldwell’s social media channels at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center also provides updates at its website.
“As Hurricane Lane continues to track toward Hawaii, the current forecast by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center calls for the possibility of high surf and rip currents, thunderstorms and even tropical storm force winds if the storm skirts Oahu’s Leeward Coast,” Caldwell said in a statement. “It’s important for residents and visitors to stay alert and stay informed.”
Caldwell and the city’s Department of Emergency Management warned residents that relief efforts could take “many days” to reach everyone on Oahu affected by a hurricane and suggested that everyone consider disaster preparedness, including action plans for family members.
“Individuals, families and businesses should be prepared to be on their own for at least 14 days,” the city said in a statement. “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.”
If hurricane shelters need to open, the Department of Parks and Recreation said pets will be allowed that are properly secured and do not pose a danger. The city’s Department of Transportation Services plans to use city buses to take residents to shelters, including people who are homeless.
Evacuations may be needed for people who live near the ocean. Coastal evacuation maps and tsunami/evacuation zones can be found in the telephone white pages or at Emergency Management’s website. Emergency Alert System broadcasts for major coastal evacuations are scheduled to air over television and radio stations, along with a three-minute sounding of all Outdoor Siren Warning Systems across Oahu.