Public Urged to Stay Safe as Hurricane Season Ends
As the hurricane Season came to a close at the end of November, the Department of Emergency Management is reminding Hawai’i residents to remain vigilant. The department recommends that residents update their 14-day emergency supply kits and plans, as emergencies can happen at any time.
Hawai‘i is currently in the rainy season which brings an increased risk of flash flooding. The department said other hazards such as tsunamis can occur at any time of the year, so it is best to be prepared.
“Once again we dodged several hurricanes this past season, but with the growing effects of climate change upon us, this threat will continue to grow,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
This past May the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu predicted an 80% chance of a normal to above-normal hurricane season for the Central Pacific basin, with a total of three to six tropical cyclones. They made this prediction based on the above normal sea surface temperatures, below normal wind shear, and the possible transition to a weak El Niño.
In all, the Central Pacific basin saw six powerful hurricanes during the season: Hector, Lane, Miriam, Norman, Olivia and Walaka.
“Our emergency responders do a phenomenal job 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Emergency Management acting director Hirokazu Toiya said. “They will continue to respond after a large scale disaster, but they won’t be able to help everyone right away. Our geographic isolation and dependence on seaports means that it may take days or weeks for assistance to actually get to affected communities. All levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and private sector entities as well as individuals, families and communities have to help each other, not only during emergencies, but during blue sky days to plan and prepare.”