Recovery efforts from last year’s hurricane season are still ongoing. In August, Hurricane Lane caused major damage across the state.
One Hilo resident was able to repair about 90 percent of her home from the damage caused by the hurricane, but for other’s, repairs are still being made. With hurricane season beginning again, she says she’s not taking any chances this time.
Margaret Almada Collins says the damage to her home ended up being worse than she had originally thought.
“My house was hit by probably a four foot wall of water from a berm that collapsed,“ said Collins. “The force of the water pushed its way through the entire house. The water came so quickly it ripped out the foundation of my house. We had to face wood flooring being removed, molding, doors that had swollen. The garage doors had blown out.“
Across Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties, damage to state properties was estimated at more than $22 million dollars.
Collins says her home was not covered for flood damage, so she had to pay for most of the repair costs. Now she says she is better prepared.
“I learned it’s better to pay the nominal fee now than to have to pay the amount that I did to keep the house in tact,“ said Collins. “I’m going to be paying 450 dollars for flood insurance each year. That is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money I spent, which is over a hundred thousand.“
She says she’s already got everything planned for this year’s hurricane season. However, since the berm that broke above her house hasn’t been repaired yet, she’s even more cautious.
“I have an emergency bag ready. I have the names of all my medications on my phone in case I can’t grab them,“ said Collins. “In the meantime, I’m sleeping in jeans when there’s bad weather.“
You can find out what other items the state recommends to put in your Emergency Preparedness Kit at this website.
Experts also say now is the time to check to see what your home insurance covers. Like in Collins’ case, hurricane insurance alone may not cover all your damage.