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Hawaiian Islands Brace for First Major Hurricane in 26 Years

Start a Emergency & Disaster Management degree at American Military University.

By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

All across the Hawaiian Islands, residents and tourists are preparing for the arrival of an unwelcome newcomer. Hurricane Lane, a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 mph, is bearing down on the Pacific archipelago.

Lane could become the first major hurricane to make landfall there in 26 years, CNN reports.

At 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Hawaii News Now reported heavy rains were already inundating the Big Island and Maui. “Authorities and community groups are warning the homeless that time is running out. Others are racing to board up,” the TV news channel said.

Forecasters say the hurricane is "on course to pass very close" to the islands or make landfall from Thursday through Friday. “It could be so devastating that authorities are urging residents to set aside two weeks’ worth of food and water,” CNN said.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Lane is moving toward the northwest at nearly 7 mph. “This motion is expected to continue tonight, with a turn toward the north and a slower forward motion expected on Friday. A turn back toward the west is expected on Saturday.”

In an effort to disseminate storm news and updates as widely as possible, the newspaper’s online content will be “free as long as Hurricane Lane is a major threat to Hawaii.”

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the Department of Emergency Management is opening 20 hurricane shelters throughout Oahu in coordination with the American Red Cross.

Residents Need to Listen to Warnings and Directions from Local Emergency Managers

"Hurricane preparedness in Hawaii is really no different than preparedness on the mainland. The most important thing that residents should do is listen to warnings and directions from local emergency managers,” said Dr. Chris Reynolds, a certified emergency manager and Dean of Academic Outreach and Program Development at American Military University.

Know where your evacuation shelter locations are and be prepared to move into a shelter if you reside in an evacuation zone. Storm surge, sustained heavy rains will likely impact low-level areas,” Reynolds advised.

He warned that Hawaii’s mountainous terrain can promote flash flooding and landslides due to heavy sustained rain. “Those residing in those areas should seek shelter in an approved location or with family members on higher ground,” Reynolds added.

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."