Are you prepared for hurricane season that begins today?
Hurricane season starts today for the Central Pacific that includes Hawaiʻi, with an estimate for the 2022 season of two to four tropical cyclones over the next six months. Are you prepared?
Hawaiian Electric crews have worked year-round to harden the company’s five island grids to better withstand the effects of powerful storms, according to a company news release. This involves reinforcing poles, lines and other equipment. The utility also spent $18.5 million in 2021 to clear trees and vegetation from around power lines and equipment, resulting in fewer and briefer outages during storms.
Weather forecastersʻ prediction of two to four tropical cyclones for the Central Pacific in 2022 includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes. A normal season has a range of four or five tropical cyclones, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Hawaiian Electric’s work to boost resilience includes equipment upgrades as well as longer-term planning efforts that will benefit customers well into the future.
Residents should also develop their own emergency plans and consider these tips:
- Gather emergency supplies, such as a battery-powered radio, flashlights, lanterns and batteries. Be prepared to monitor communications over emergency broadcast radio stations.
- Store enough water, non-perishable food, medicine and personal hygiene supplies for your family members and pets to last at least 14 days.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electric appliances and equipment during a storm or power outage. When power comes back and is stable, plug in the equipment one at a time.
- Shut off your electricity at the main breaker or switch if you need to evacuate.
- Consider having a backup generator if you are dependent on an electrically powered life support system. Or, make plans to go to an alternate location where electricity will be available. Be prepared to take your medical equipment and medications with you.
- If your business or residence is equipped with a backup generator, learn how to properly operate the device to avoid causing damage or injury.
- Prepare a list of emergency contacts including phone numbers for insurance agents, vendors, physicians or any other important individuals.
- If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and dangerous. Stay away from downed power lines – at least 30 feet or more (at least two car lengths).
Here are some of Hawaiian Electricʻs upgrades for Maui County:
- Replacing more than 400 poles on Maui, Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i to maintain strength and safety standards based on inspections and testing.
- Installing more than 60 grid-protection devices on Maui to help prevent outages and limit service interruptions to a smaller number of customers.
- Installing weather stations at targeted West Maui facilities to actively assess drier and hotter weather patterns contributing to longer wildfire seasons produced by climate change.