Jun 1, 2018 | PC Community

Hawaiian Electric Companies prepare for hurricane season, urge customers to gather supplies, solidify plans


New emergency preparedness handbook, keiki-friendly booklet available


The 2018 Central Pacific hurricane season starts today and could bring up to six tropical cyclones – are you prepared? Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light urge customers, both residential and commercial, to ready themselves and their properties for potential storms.

The companies work year-round to strengthen our island grids so that they are better able to withstand powerful storms. We’ve spent more than $1.5 billion since 2011 to upgrade and reinforce poles, lines and equipment. Last year alone, more than $18 million was spent on clearing trees and vegetation from around power lines and equipment across all three utilities, resulting in fewer and briefer outages during storms.

To help customers prepare for hurricane season, the companies have updated their Handbook for Emergency Preparedness. The updated version and a keiki-friendly booklet featuring Maka the Super Safety Hero are available at https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/prepare.

Printed copies of the Handbook for Emergency Preparedness will be available for pickup at public libraries on Oʻahu and at City Mill stores. You may also call Hawaiian Electric at 543-7511 for copies of the publications.

Customers should develop their own plans and consider these following tips:

• Gather emergency supplies, such as a battery-powered radio, flashlights, lanterns, and batteries. Be prepared to monitor storm-related communications issued 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.

• Routinely use high-quality surge protectors to help protect household appliances that incorporate electronics, computer equipment, home entertainment systems, and motors.

• Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electric appliances and equipment during a storm or a power outage. When power comes back and is stable, gradually plug in the equipment one at a time.

• If your power goes out during a storm, use flashlights or chemical light sticks instead of candles or kerosene lamps as open flames may create a fire hazard.

• 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 that includes 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.

• For power outage updates, follow the companies on Twitter: #OahuOutage, #MauiOutage, #LanaiOutage, #MolokaiOutage, #BigIslandOutage