Natural disasters can strike at any time and in Maui these include flash floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Knowing how to protect yourself and your home in the case of a natural disaster in Maui is going to be the most important factor in keeping yourself safe and avoiding property damage.
Have the right equipment
Your home and vehicle should be equipped with the tools you’ll need in the case of a natural disaster. This should generally include items such as:
- A solar or battery-powered (with extra batteries) radio
- Fire and waterproof safe
- LED headlamp or flashlight
- Canned or freeze-dried food
- Lighter or matches
- Well-stocked first-aid kit
Have a plan in place
Your emergency preparedness plan should tell you where you’ll go in the event of a natural disaster and what you need to do to protect your home. Sit down with your family to discuss how you will contact each other if you aren’t together when disaster strikes. Use FEMA’s family emergency plan to write down important information and keep the documents in a safe place. Have a set meeting place away from your home and don’t forget to plan for your pets.
Keep up to date on the news
Hurricanes are a fact of life in Maui and knowing exactly when and where it will happen is the best way to be prepared. If you hear of a hurricane watch, be vigilant about checking news sources for if and when it will turn into a hurricane warning, which means it has started or is about to start and you should get prepared. In either case, you’ll want to start packing important documents and getting family members and pets ready in the case of evacuation. In the case of a flash flood or tsunami, for which you don’t have much time to prepare for, you’ll want to take action immediately and head for high ground.
The Emergency Alert System is in effect in Maui and in the case of a disaster; you will hear a steady three-minute siren tone. At this point you should tune your radio or television to a location station to get instructions.
Get your home ready for impact
Before you buckle down or leave, you will also want to ensure there is nothing laying around in your yard that can damage your home (like bikes, lawn furniture and grills). If you have storm shutters, put them on or nail pieces of plywood to your window frames. Set the thermostat in your refrigerator and freezer to the lowest temperature so that in the case of power loss, your food will remain fresh. You may also want to fill up sinks and bathtubs, along with drinking vessels with clean drinking water in case you lose your water supply. Before you leave or even if you can’t leave, turn off your power. If there is time, get your vehicle filled with gas.