Hurricane and Natural Disaster Preparedness
We encourage our Hawaii communities to prepare for natural disasters such as hurricanes by developing emergency plans. To make sure you are protected, the American Bankers Association (ABA) offers the following tips. We also suggest you review the National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Preparedness resources website and the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management website for additional information.
- Know your risk. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) map service center will show you the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need. Flood insurance should be a necessity, as standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding and may have different deductibles for storm damage.
- Talk to your insurance agent or broker. A good flood insurance policy can be a financial lifesaver following a damaging event such as a hurricane – but even good policies may have restrictions. Talk to your agent so you understand what your policy does and does not cover.
- Assemble an emergency kit. The emergency kit should include first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable foods and water, towels and a supply of any necessary medications. In Hawaii, the American Red Cross encourages families to be prepared with enough supplies for two weeks and provides additional local resources for local emergency preparation on its website. Stay informed of the storm’s path and progress by monitoring Wireless Emergency Alerts via text message and having a battery-powered radio or TV available.
- Develop a family communications plan. Know how you will contact one another; how you will get back together, if separated; and what you will do in different situations. Having a plan can eliminate some of the stress and confusion.
- Establish an evacuation route. Prior to a storm, contact your local American Red Cross to locate the shelter nearest you or download their Shelter Finder App. Identify the safest route to get there. Be sure to check if your local emergency shelter allows animals and family pets.
- Secure your home. Outdoor furniture and other objects can pose a potential hazard. Turn off propane tanks and other utilities if instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
- Protect financial documents. In the event of a disaster, you will need identification and financial documents to begin the recovery process. Safeguard important documents in a bank safety deposit box, computer storage devices (USB drive, CD/DVD), and/or waterproof storage containers, including:
- Personal identification (driver’s licenses, birth certificates, military IDs, passports, etc.)
- Financial account information (checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts, credit/debit cards)
- Insurance policies on all personal property, including appraisals and lists and photos of valuable items
- Ownership or leasing documentation for homes and vehicles (deeds, titles, registrations, rental agreements, etc.)
- All health and medical insurance documentation
The Ready.gov website also offers tips on preparing for an emergency, including: a free app that is available for download through your smart phone and an emergency financial first aid kit to help keep your finances well-organized during a potential storm. For more resources, visit their website: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.