Flash floods, tropical threats and historic landfall… Oh my! Eh, but that’s what we get every once in a while in Oahu. It’s not too bad, but being prepared and understanding our weather patterns can help you be more comfortable when bad weather hits. If you’re moving to this area or relocating you might want to understand how our weather pattern works. We get a lot of tradewinds which keeps us cool and not as humid, but that also means we could get a tropical storm and torrential downpours. Most of our bad weather starts coming at the end of summer in August, September and October. Usually by January February and March, we have some extremely beautiful weather.
Overall, tropical storms have difficulty maintaining their strength as they approach the Hawaiian islands from the southeast. But sometimes, our warm water south of Hawaii could support and organize tropical system that will eventually move into our islands. Most of the time, any storms that do reach us will simply be a lot of rain and some gusty wind.
Tropical storms can eventually turn into hurricanes if they pick up enough speed and have the right temperatures. One of the best things you can do if you live here is to simply be prepared and stay up-to-date on what’s happening and when it’s supposed to happen. Know your evacuation routes and even though we are on an island, there are certain evacuation routes if you’re in low-lying areas to help you reach higher ground.
Keep a list of contact information on emergency contacts such as local hospitals, the American Red Cross, your local radio and TV stations as well as local public safety and law enforcement contacts.
Plan ahead. Many people rush out to the supermarkets and stock up on things that don’t need over the week. The problem with this is that many of our supplies come in on a daily or weekly basis so if everyone goes at once, many times the shelves will be left empty. It’s best to plan ahead and have bottles of water, bags of rice, sand, or other necessities already stocked aside in a Rubbermaid container along with a first aid kit, flashlight and battery-operated radio. You’ll also want to have extra batteries just in case.
Keep your four-legged friends safe as well by having an emergency plan for them. Either have carrying cases or contacts for specific pet owners that might be able to take your pet should there be an emergency.
Be prepared as a family. Know where everyone is supposed to be should there be an emergency. This could be a fire, burglary or natural disaster. Know where everybody is going to be, how to connect with everybody, and how you are to contact each person.
Finally, listen and adhere to the warning signs. Most of the time people are injured or worse when they fail to listen to recommended or mandatory evacuations. Also, wait until an area safe before returning home.
Hawaii gets very few major storms and hardly any hurricanes but it’s still best to be prepared. You never know when your power simply might go out or you have damage from a flood. It is raining here and even though we enjoy the lush tropical landscaping, it sometimes can come at a slight price.
Read more: National Hurricane Center