Hawaiian Electric Companies activate emergency response plans as Hurricane Lane nears

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Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light are closely monitoring Hurricane Lane and making emergency preparations as the storm approaches the companies’ five-island service territory.

The companies are assigning and pre-positioning workers and equipment as needed. Two-thousand-seven-hundred employees will be ready to help begin restoring power and assisting customers in their communities when it is safe to do so after the storm has passed. More than 500 contractors are also available. 

They’re also closely monitoring Hurricane Lane’s movement in order to move crews and equipment to areas most likely to be affected. 

“The Hawaiian Electric Companies will make every effort to keep the power on but the electric grids are not hurricane-proof,” said Ron Cox, senior vice president of operations. “There will be outages if the islands are hit by powerful winds, torrential rain, and flooding. Once the storm has passed and it is safe for our crews to begin restoration, we will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power.”

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light emergency responders are going through pre-storm checklists to ensure critical preparations are being made. Here is what the companies are doing ahead of Hurricane Lane:

Hawaiian Electric crews are being mobilized to Molokai to provide support. Maui Electric is already mobilizing employees to remote areas.

All three companies are taking inventory of fuel supply, checking generators, and ensuring that all equipment inside and outside of our facilities are secure.

Together the companies have more than 500 contractors in place if needed. For instance, Hawaii Electric Light has been in contact with and secured resources from contractors around Hawaii Island in advance for various services such as tree trimming, pole hole digging, electrical, and construction workers.

The companies are working with response partners, including civil defense agencies, FEMA and other government entities.

The companies are in contact with the Western Regional Mutual Assistance Group, which is comprised of dozens of utilities ready to provide utility workers and equipment as needed. Other utility industry organizations such as the Edison Electric Institute also are on standby to help in areas such as communications, if needed.

Prior to storm season, extensive training is conducted to prepare employees to respond safely and as quickly as possible if a storm threatens the service territory. The companies have invested more than $1.5 billion over the past seven years to upgrade and reinforce poles, lines and equipment, which will help the utilities recover quicker after a storm.

As the storm approaches, customers should review family and business emergency plans, ensure they have supplies they need on hand and keep close watch on the development of the storm system.

More electrical safety and preparation tips are available in the companies’ Handbook for Emergency Preparedness, available in five languages, at www.hawaiianelectric.com/prepare; www.mauielectric.com/prepare; and www.hawaiielectriclight.com/prepare.

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