HONOLULU (KHON2) — The 2021 Central Pacific hurricane season has begun and Hawaiian Electric is advising customers to be prepared and have emergency plans in place.

Forecasters are predicting two to five tropical cyclones for the Central Pacific in 2021, an
estimate that includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes.

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Residents should develop their own emergency plans in the event of a natural disaster 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 a
    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.
  • 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).

In efforts to boost resilience ahead of these weather conditions, Hawaiian Electric has upgraded certain equipment across all major islands and is actively pursuing long-term projects to benefit customers in the future.

The following upgrades include:

Replaced about five miles of overhead line on Oahu’s North Shore along
Kamehameha Highway near Hau‘ula Beach Park to La‘ie Beach Park, and along
Kamehameha near Hukilau Beach Park to Malaekahana State Recreation Area.

Convened five virtual workshops of the Ko‘olaupoko Energy Working Group,
engaging key community leaders to advance energy-related action items that will
increase resilience along the Windward side from Waimānalo to Kualoa.

Started work with national experts to identify areas on Oahu that are optimal for
developing microgrids to achieve a more resilient electric grid as part of the U.S.
Department of Energy’s inaugural Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership

Maui and Molokai
Installed heavier, insulated conductors in tree-dense areas to help prevent
vegetation-related outages in areas prone to trees and branches falling during
high winds and damaging electrical equipment.

Upgraded the way power is distributed in Lanai City to improve reliability,
including the conversion of a 4-kilovolt power line to 12 kilovolts. This
standardized voltage across the island for a more efficient distribution of energy.

Hawaii Island
Upgraded and relocated a 10-mile sub-transmission line in the Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park area.