Ask the Mayor: Does Maui Have Cat. 4-5 Hurricane-Proof Shelters?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column. Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at (808) 270-7855, [email protected] or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.
Q: After watching Hurricane Irma devastate Florida, I wonder what buildings Maui has, specifically Upcountry, that would serve as storm shelters for a Category 4 or 5 Hurricane?
Where do we find a list of nearby shelters?
A: While there are a number of concrete or reinforced buildings and underground parking garages in Maui County that could conceivably hold up in a major hurricane, at present, there are no existing public shelters that could withstand a Category 4 or 5 hurricane.
The county is assessing costs and plans for retrofitting public shelters to better withstand these types of storms.
Because some shelters may not be open at the time of an emergency, a list of shelters is only published when the shelters are opened.
At that time, you can find the updated shelter information on the county website and social media.
The best way to get current information during any type of emergency is by signing up for Maka‘ala, the county’s emergency alert system.
Visit www.mauicounty.gov/emergencyalerts and follow the link to sign up online for the types of alerts you would like to receive and on which types of devices (mobile phone, land line phone, email, text, fax, etc.).
If you need help signing up for the alerts, you can call the Maui Emergency Management Agency (formerly Civil Defense) at 270-7285.