Hawaii experts give tips for home and shelter preparations ahead of hurricane season

Resources for Severe Weather

HONOLULU (KHON2) — With the start of hurricane season just three weeks away, experts say right now is the best time to make final preparations for a sheltering at home or evacuating.

People will need to secure their homes to make sure they’re ready for high force winds and rain.

“You want to try to keep your rain gutters clear, you know, because there could be not just a wind that you have to worry about the torrential rain that comes with it,” said Michael Mishima, DTRIC Insurance vice president of claims.

Another thing he recommends is cleaning the yard and putting away any items that may fly around and become projectiles.

“There’s things that you can do to mitigate the damage, if you can board up your windows … consider getting hurricane clips attached,” Mishima added.

He said another important step is taking note of belongings inside the home.

“It’s probably a good idea to, you know, take an inventory of your home, and I would suggest going room by room and just say, ‘Okay, look at what’s in this room, what’s in the the kitchen what’s in the bathroom, what’s in the bedrooms.'”

Michael Mishima, DTRIC Insurance

Mishima said now is also the time to check on insurance. He said standard Homeowner’s Insurance doesn’t include hurricane coverage, and once a hurricane watch is issued, insurance companies will put a pause on buying or adding coverage.

“Call your agent, and just double check, ‘Hey do I have the appropriate coverage? Do I have enough coverage?’ and look for additional adds you want to consider including flood insurance,” said Mishima.

For people making evacuation plans, they will need to note that rules for hurricane shelters have also changed.

“We don’t have as much space. We have to do social distancing so (the shelter) is a last option,” said Diane Peters-Nguyen, regional chief executive officer for the Red Cross’s Pacific Island Region. “We are going to be urging residents to shelter in place to the extent possible.”

The Red Cross said people should bring their evacuation kits that include masks, sanitizer, prescription medication, flashlight, batteries and a radio, along with their important documents.

“We would, you know, ask people to bring those things with them, even their bedding, their food and water for themselves, and their family and their pets. And also, it’s recommended that if they have gotten vaccinated, that they would bring with them a proof of vaccination,” said Peters-Nguyen.

She said this will help with their health screening when people arrive. People will also need to be prepared for a temperature check and to answer screening questions.

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