Categorized | Hurricane, News

Hurricane Iselle: Closures and schedule changes

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

GOVERNOR SIGNS EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION IN ANTICIPATION OF TROPICAL CYCLONES

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed an emergency proclamation in anticipation of the arrival of two tropical cyclones in Hawaii.

Hurricane Iselle is forecast to impact the state Thursday evening through late Friday. Hurricane Julio is a few days behind Iselle and may impact the islands as soon as Sunday.

The proclamation, which includes the entire state, activates the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the Legislature for disaster relief. It also allows easier access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels, along with the suspension of certain laws as needed for emergency purposes.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything possible to protect the public,” Abercrombie said. “This proclamation improves the state’s ability to respond quickly to any potential impacts from both storms.”

The disaster emergency relief period for the proclamation began Wednesday and continues through Aug. 15, 2014.

Recommended preparedness actions may be found on the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency website at scd.hawaii.gov. Residents are also encouraged to enroll in local notification systems and monitor local radio and television broadcasts.

COUNTY TO CLOSE FOR HALF DAY THURSDAY AND ALL DAY FRIDAY

Hawaii County offices will close at noon Thursday, Aug. 7, and remain closed all day Friday, Aug. 8, because of expected weather impacts from Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio.

Essential employees whose work involves continuing crucial operations and services will remain on the job. These employees have been identified by their departments and are required to report to work.

Absentee walk-in voting will continue at four sites in Hawaii County from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Those voting sites are Aupuni Center in Hilo, the West Hawaii Civic Center, Waimea Community Center and Pahala Community Center.

To provide for everyone’s safety, the following county facilities have been closed:

· All County Parks and Beach Parks will not open on Thursday and will remain closed until further notice.

· All County Solid Waste Transfer Stations and both the Hilo and Puuanahulu Landfills will close at noon on Thursday.

All Hele-On buses are scheduled to operate as normal on Thursday and Friday. However, due to heavy rains and potential road closures, bus routes may be canceled with little or no notice. Please prepare for alternative transportation during this hurricane event. Delays are expected.

Senior Nutrition Programs and Elderly Recreation Program activities are canceled Thursday and Friday. Van service provided by Coordinated Services for the Elderly has been suspended for Thursday and Friday.

Residents are strongly encouraged to stay off roadways and travel as little as possible to avoid wind and flooding hazards.

STATE OFFICES TO CLOSE AT HALF-DAY THURSDAY, ALL-DAY FRIDAY

State offices in Maui County (Maui, Molokai and Lanai) and on Hawaii Island will close at noon, Aug. 7, and remain closed all day Friday, Aug. 8, due to anticipated severe weather conditions and possible flooding caused by Iselle and Julio.

Employees affected by the closing of these offices should not report to work, except for departmental disaster/emergency coordinators, disaster response workers, and employees whose work involves continuing crucial operations and services, such as hospital and correctional workers.

Employees who fall into one of these categories are required to report to work.

Maui and Hawaii County office closures are based on currently known weather conditions.

A decision on state office closures for Oahu and Kauai will be made Thursday.

HDOT PREPARES FOR ARRIVAL OF ISELLE, JULIO

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is preparing its personnel, equipment and assets for possible impact and clean-up response activities in anticipation of the arrival of Iselle and Julio.

Currently all state airports and highways remain open. If state airports and highways are impacted by the storms, information regarding closures and re-openings will be posted on the HDOT website at www.hidot.hawaii.gov

During severe weather conditions, travelers are advised to check with air carriers on flight schedules before going to airports. Be prepared, stay informed and stay safe.

Visit the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (formerly State Civil Defense) website at www.scd.hawaii.gov for more storm-related information and monitor local media for current information and conditions.

WAVE GLIDER TWEETING FROM KAWAIHAE HARBOR

Wave Gliders craft, Holololo, is out by Kawaihae Harbor and tweeting images.

Check it out at: twitter.com/Holoholo_WG

He’ll send photos as long as the cellular towers are working.

CIVIL DEFENSE MESSAGE: 8:30 P.M. WEDNESDAY

This is a Hurricane Warning information update for Wednesday Aug. 6 at 8:30 PM.

The National Weather Service Hurricane Warning for the Island of Hawaii remains in effect. The onset of hazardous hurricane conditions can be expected to affect the east or windward portions of Hawaii Island beginning Thursday afternoon and as forecasted, continue across the island to the west.

The hurricane conditions will include high surf and surge along all coastal areas, heavy rains and possible thunder showers that may present with flood conditions, and sustained storm force winds of over 75 mph and higher gusts.

Hurricane Iselle continues to be monitored and is currently located approximately 550 miles east southeast of Hilo and moving west northwest at 16 miles per hour.

Hurricane Iselle is maintaining its strength and track and will continue to be monitored. Additional updates will be broadcasted as information is made available.

Residents in coastal areas and areas prone to surf and surge impact are advised to take precautions. All residents are encouraged to remain off the roadways and to anticipate possible power outages and interruptions in telephone and other communication systems.

The department of Education reports that all Hawaii Island Schools will be closed Thursday Aug. 7 and Friday Aug 8.

The following facilities will be opened for evacuation shelters effective noon Thursday:

Laupahoehoe School
Kohala High & Elementary
Kealakehe High
Konawaena High
Hilo High
Waiakea High
Keaau High
Pahoa High & Intermediate
Honokaa High & Intermediate
Kau High
Waikoloa Elementary

In addition, all beach parks will be closed effective tonight and remain closed until conditions improve and it is safe to reopen.

Lastly, all county and state government offices will be closed for general business operations effective noon Thursday Aug. 7 and remain closed through Friday Aug 8. Emergency operations will be maintained and all non-essential employees will be instructed to remain home.

STATE COURTHOUSES CLOSING NOON THURSDAY

State Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Hawaii Island and Maui County will be closed beginning at noon on Thursday, Aug. 7 through Friday, Aug. 8, due to severe weather conditions being projected by the National Weather Service.

The closures include the Children’s Justice Centers, Offices of the Public Guardian, and Driver’s Education Offices on Hawaii Island and Maui County.

In addition, Drivers Education classes scheduled on Maui County for Aug. 7 will be cancelled and rescheduled. Family Court hearings scheduled at the Molokai Courthouse on Thursday, Aug. 7 and Friday, Aug. 8 will be rescheduled to Thursday, Aug. 28 and Friday, Aug. 29.

The Chief Justice issued the order attached extending deadlines for any Hawaii Island or Maui County Court matters with a filing or hearing date of Thursday, Aug. 7 or Friday, Aug. 8.

All documents due during the Court closure will be considered timely if filed by the close of business on Monday, Aug. 11.

Hearings or trials cancelled due to the closure of the Courts shall be rescheduled to the next available date with due regard for any statutory mandates.

Big Island and Maui County Courthouses are expected to reopen on Monday morning for business.

At this time, Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Oahu and Kauai County will be open for business as usual. We will provide updates if there are any changes or additional closures.

PARTIAL CLOSURES AT HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

To keep visitors and employees safe as Hurricane Iselle approaches the Hawaiian Islands, park officials will close all backcountry areas and certain roads in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, effective 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7.

Park closures are as follows:

– Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast

– All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins

– Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”)

– All coastal areas and trails, including, Apua Point, Keauhou, Halape, and Kaaha

– Kulanaokuaiki campsite

– Napau campsite

– Namakanipaio campgrounds and the A-frame cabins

– Kilauea Visitor Center closes at 1 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 7

– Jaggar Museum closes at 1 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 7

Closures will remain in effect until Hurricane Iselle has passed and conditions are safe. Additional closures may be warranted as the storm gets closer, and any damage is assessed.

Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp will remain open for registered guests.

“Although we aren’t closing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in its entirety, we strongly encourage visitors to consider changing their plans if they were planning to visit Thursday or Friday,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. “We will offer our regularly scheduled programs and guided hikes from the Kīlauea Visitor Center until 11 a.m. on Thursday,” she said.

Visitors may check the park website, www.nps.gov/havo, for the latest information on openings, or call 808-985-6000.

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UH CAMPUSES ON HAWAII ISLAND, MAUI COUNTY CLOSED

The University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College, along with its West Hawaii Education Center on Hawaii Island will be closed all day on Thursday, Aug. 7 and Friday, Aug. 8 due to anticipated severe weather caused by Hurricanes Iselle and Julio.

UH Maui College and its Education Centers in Hana and Lahaina and on Molokai and Lanai will close at noon on Thursday, Aug. 7 and all day Friday, Aug. 8. Weekend operations will also be suspended.

The university continues to monitor the situation and will decide the status of its remaining campuses on Oahu and Kauai on Thursday.

DOE SCHOOLS CLOSED THURSDAY, FRIDAY

The state Department of Education (DOE) will close public schools through Friday, Aug. 8 on Hawaii Island and Maui County (Maui, Molokai, Lanai). Closures at these schools went into effect at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

All inter-scholastic athletic events and student activities are canceled at those schools.

“We are making these decisions based our latest updates with the State Civil Defense,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We will keep you informed of the latest as it becomes available.”

Many Hawaii State Public Charter Schools on Hawaii Island and Maui County are also closing their schools in conjunction with DOE closures.

For more information on Charter Schools’ closures, visit www.chartercommission.hawaii.g…

PUBLIC LIBRARIES CLOSED

In anticipation of the potential threat of Hurricane Iselle, and for the health and safety of patrons and staff, all public libraries in Maui County and on the Big Island will be closed on Thursday, Aug. 7, announced State Librarian Richard Burns.

The following Maui County public libraries that are normally open on Thursdays will be closed: Hana, Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Lanai, Makawao, Molokai, and Wailuku.

Big Island public libraries that are normally open on Thursdays will be closed: Hilo, Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Keaau, Laupahoehoe, Mountain View, Naalehu, North Kohala, Pahala, Pahoa, and Thelma Parker. Kealakekua Public Library is normally closed on Thursdays.

For more information, visit the Hawaii State Public Library System’s website at www.librarieshawaii.org.

DLNR CLOSES ADDITIONAL AREAS

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announces additional closures to its state-managed park and forest lands as precautionary measures for public safety before arrival of two storm systems in Hawaii.

The areas will remain closed until the storm systems have passed and personnel can assess them for possible damage or downed trees and any repairs that may need to be scheduled.

Status updates will be provided as soon as available.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting scheduled for Friday, Aug. 8, has been cancelled due to the approaching storms. Items on this agenda will be deferred to the Aug. 22 meeting.

DLNR is advising the public to follow instructions of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (formerly State Civil Defense) and County Civil Defense agencies to prepare for the possibility of heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, power outages, large surf and coastal surge with the arrival of tropical storm system Iselle as early as Thursday on the Big Island.

Both Iselle, and Julio in its wake, are evolving storm systems whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. However, people should heed weather reports and be ready in event of emergency situations.

DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storms approach. Additional closures may follow as the storms approach.

People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf.

Areas being closed Wednesday:

Hawaii and Maui

· All Division of Forestry and Wildlife managed lands on Hawaii and Maui will be closed by 6 p.m., including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, forest hiking trails, and game management areas, until further notice.

· On Hawaii island this includes Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground.

· The Division of State Parks will close state parks on Hawaii island, Maui and Molokai at 6 p.m. They will remain closed until further notice.

Maui County

· By 6 p.m., Maui DOFAW will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas including the game management area on Lanai; this closure also affects Polipoli State Park (persons with camping permits are being notified). Closures are until further notice.

Oahu

· By 6 p.m. Oahu DOFAW will close the Manoa Falls trail to hiking and Peacock Flats to hiking and camping.

Kauai

· By 6 p.m. Kauai DOFAW camping areas, including Waimea Canyon, Alakai Wilderness, Sugi Grove and Kawaikoi will be closed.

· This morning Division of State Parks closed Napali Coast State Wilderness Park and the Kalalau trail was closed to entering hikers. Trail closed signs were posted at the Kalalau trailhead. A helicopter was sent out Wednesday to warn campers at Kalalau beach to evacuate or shelter in place.

DOFAW has suspended issuing camping permits for state forest campgrounds.

Division of State Parks has suspended issuance of any new park camping permits statewide that would begin before Tuesday Aug. 12. This directive may be modified island by island as the track of the storms and their effects become known.

Persons holding camping permits will need to find alternate lodging and may either reschedule or receive refunds for dates while the parks were closed due to the storms.

Areas being closed on Thursday:

Oahu

· All state parks will be closed by 7:45 p.m. Thursday evening (Diamond Head will close at 6 p.m.) and will remain closed until further notice.

· The Division of Forestry and Wildlife will close its all of its managed lands on Oahu starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7. This includes all state forest reserves, natural area reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and game management (public hunting) areas, and Na Ala Hele Trails. State forest camping areas will be closed no camping and hunting permits will be issued until further notice.

Kauai

· The Division of Forestry and Wildlife will close its all of its managed lands on Kauai starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7. This includes all state forest reserves, natural area reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and game management (public hunting) areas, and Na Ala Hele Trails. All access roads and gates including Hunting Units A, C, E, H and J will be closed until further notice. State forest camping areas will be closed no camping and hunting permits will be issued until further notice.

· All state parks will be closed by 6 p.m. Thursday evening and will remain closed until further notice.

Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) does not plan to close any state small boat harbors but is advising boaters to monitor VHF radio for Coast Guard information on port closures and other safety advisories. Boaters are responsible to secure their vessels and any loose items stored nearby. In addition, make sure the bilge pumps are operational and batteries are fully charged.

The “Hawaii Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual” can be found online at seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/site…

FIRST HAWAIIAN, CPB TO CLOSE BIG ISLAND BRANCHES EARLY

All eight First Hawaiian Bank branches on Hawaii island — Hilo, Honokaa, Kamehameha, Kamuela, Kealakekua, Kona, Pahoa, and Waikoloa — will close at 11 a.m. Thursday due to the approaching storm. Branches are expected to open for business as usual on Friday once it has been deemed safe and any potential damages have been assessed.

Both of Central Pacific Bank’s branches on Hawaii island — Hilo and Kona — will closed at noon Thursday.

The status of operating hours for Friday will be announced following further assessment of the situation.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF HAWAII HEALTH CENTERS CLOSED

As a precaution against upcoming storms that are expected to impact Hawaii, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii announced that its Honolulu, Maui and Kona Health Centers will be closed on Friday, Aug. 8.

Weather permitting, the Honolulu Health Center will reopen with regular hours on Saturday, Aug. 9 and the Maui and Kona Health Centers will reopen with regular hours on Monday, Aug. 11.

Patients are urged to call (808) 589-1149 or check for updates at www.pphi.org

HILO DEMOCRAT RALLY CANCELED

Democrats have canceled their traditional election eve rally in Hilo because of the storms.

Democratic candidates typically gather at the Mooheau Bandstand in Hilo the night before elections.

Sarah Beamer, executive director of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said Hawaii Island Democrats called off Friday’s event for safety reasons.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie had urged for the cancellation.

“I do not do so lightly,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “I understand fully the history and tradition of this event. However, my primary responsibility is to ensure that residents stay safe.”

KAHILU FAMILY FUN DAY RESCHEDULED

The Kahilu Theatre has rescheduled its Family Fun Day celebrating the 2014-2015 Season Launch from Sunday Aug. 10, to Saturday Aug. 23.

Kahilu will go ahead with an online launch of the 2014-2015 Season with tickets still going on sale 9 a.m. Sunday on www.kahilutheatre.org.

“With the upgraded forecast of Hurricane Julio heading straight for Hawaii Island, to hit on Sunday, we had to make the difficult, but responsible decision to reschedule the Family Fun Day. Luckily, most of our performers could be rescheduled and all understand the situation. We hope all of the kids and families looking forward to the Fun Day keep dry and safe this weekend and come out on the 23rd.” Kahilu Theatre Artistic and Managing Director Tim Bostock said.

The postponed Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is expected to follow the same program as originally scheduled and is free and open to the public.

Schedule and more details on the Family Fun Day and new season are available on www.kahilutheatre.org or by calling (808) 885-6868.

HAWAII ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY OFFICES CLOSED

Hawaii Electric Light Company’s Customer Service and Engineering offices will be closed to walk-in customers and calls on Thursday, Aug. 7 to allow employees to complete final preparations for expected impacts from Hurricane Iselle.

Customers may call 969-6666 to report power outages and downed power lines.

“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said President Jay Ignacio. “We encourage the community to monitor local television, radio and other media broadcasts for storm updates and the locations of open emergency shelters.”

As a safety reminder, do not touch fallen or low hanging power lines or anything they may be in contact with. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Stay clear of puddles where downed lines may have landed.

For more information and safety tips, visit www.hawaiielectriclight.com and click the “Safety and Emergency” tab.

COAST GUARD PREPARING TO SHUT DOWN PORTS

The U.S. Coast Guard was preparing late Wednesday to partially close harbors on the Big Island and Maui.

Harbors in Hilo and Kawaihae, and Kahului on Maui, as well as those on Lanai and Molokai will be closed Wednesday night to incoming traffic, though vessels in port may still leave.

The ports are likely to be fully closed Thursday.

The Coast Guard hasn’t determined if it will close ports in Honolulu and Kauai.

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STORMS WILL IMPACT MATSON’S OPERATIONS, CARGO AVAILABILITY

Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio are currently on a path headed for the Hawaiian Islands. Iselle is expected to reach Hawaii Thursday night and Julio this weekend. Both hurricanes are expected to weaken to tropical storms prior to reaching the Islands, but will nevertheless result in heavy rains, high surf and strong winds that will disrupt much of the state, including Matson’s vessel and terminal operations.

At this time, the U.S. Coast Guard’s plan is to close the Port of Honolulu Thursday night at 6 p.m., with all vessels over 300 gross tons required to evacuate the harbor and seek safe shelter prior to the storm’s impact.

This will definitely affect cargo availability for Honolulu and the Neighbor Islands in the next few days. The number one priority during this period will be on ensuring safety for all.

For Matson, this means taking all measures to protect our vessels and seafarers during this severe weather. We will do our best to resume operations as conditions permit.

With our current schedule, the MV Mokihana will arrive tonight in Honolulu. In order to prepare for the storm, we will have limited auto and container operations prior to departing the Port of Honolulu and securing the ship, which will impact freight availability.

Since this situation is subject to change, we will be providing you with regular updates as to the status of the storms and their impact on Matson’s vessel schedules and operations.

YOUNG BROTHERS OPERATIONS, SCHEDULE

Young Brothers, Limited issued the following updates on its operations at ports of call throughout Hawaii, as of 4:30 p.m.

Since Young Brothers last update, Iselle has strengthened and is expected to hit the Big Island as a hurricane on Thursday night. The precautions we have communicated remain appropriate. Over the next several days, Young Brothers will continue to issue updates on its operations at each port of call throughout Hawaii as they may be affected by Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio.

Young Brothers encourages its customers to visit its website, www.youngbrothershawaii.com, for updates throughout the remainder of the week.

For All Ports (including Honolulu) through at least the remainder of this week.

Update: Young Brothers will accept only straightload (containerized) dry cargo through at least Friday.

Young Brothers will not accept livestock, hazardous cargo, explosives or vehicles (other than emergency- response and public safety vehicles).

In addition, because of a very limited window to deliver cargo, Young Brothers will not accept less-than- container-load (LCL) cargo on Wednesday and Thursday (and possibly on Friday depending on weather conditions). This limitation does not apply to emergency or medical supplies.

Young Brothers asks customers to transport only essential cargo for the remainder of this week.

If any of the sailings described below are cancelled, Young Brothers will seek to undertake special sailings to deliver straightload (containerized) cargo over the weekend, if weather conditions permit.

Update: For the remainder of this week (at least until Friday), we will not be accepting any refrigerated cargo (except straightload cargo for Nāwiliwili as provided below).

Tuesday Sailing to Hilo is Cancelled – No change since last advisory, Aug. 6, 9:30 a.m.:

Due to rough seas and current, our barge, which was expected to arrive in Hilo late Wednesday evening, will not arrive in Hilo as scheduled. The Coast Guard projects that it will close the Port of Hilo at 4 a.m. on Thursday. The barge will head north of the Big Island to ride out the storm.

An attempt to enter the port will be made on Friday afternoon once the storm has passed and clearance has been received by port authorities to safely enter the port. LCL outbound cargo (refrigerated or dry) and automobiles will not be accepted in Hilo this week. YB will accept only straight load containers. The Hilo port is now in the process of securing its facility.

Tuesday Sailing to Kaumalapau and Kaunakakai – No change since last advisory, Aug. 6, 9:30 a.m.:

Young Brothers’ barge arrived in the port of Kaumalapau earlier Wednesday and is expected to arrive in Kaunakakai as scheduled this evening. Kaumalapau cargo was available Wednesday. Kaumalapau and Kaunakakai cargo will be available on Thursday until noon, unless port authorities or weather conditions require earlier closure.

Wednesday and Thursday Sailings to Kahului – Updated:
Maui’s Wednesday barge departed at 9 a.m. with an expected arrival in Kahului at approximately midnight. Straightload containers will be available at 6 a.m. on Thursday, with Young Brothers’ gates open until 9 a.m. and possibly later if port authorities and weather conditions permit.

Under conditions as presently forecasted, Young Brothers will not be able to sail its Thursday barge to Kahului.

Thursday Sailing to Nawiliwili – Updated:
In its earlier advisory, Young Brothers stated it was planning to sail to Nawiliwili on Thursday as scheduled, with a possibility of a delayed arrival in Nawiliwili on Friday. Young Brothers currently plans to complete this sailing (for straightload containers only); however, we continue to monitor weather conditions and port authority directives. We plan to accept cargo for this sailing on Thursday until 11 a.m. A further update will be made Thursday morning at about 9 a.m.

Thursday Sailing to Kawaihae Is Cancelled – No change since last advisory, Aug. 6, 9:30 a.m.:
Young Brothers will not be able to sail to Kawaihae on Thursday. This port will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

Each of these plans for Young Brothers’ port operations are subject to change based on the weather conditions and directions given to us by the United States Coast Guard and the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Young Brothers encourages its customers to visit www.youngbrothershawaii.com for updates.

AT&T’S TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE AND CONNECTED

· Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as using your car charger to charge your device or having extra mobile phone batteries on hand.

· Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.

· Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.

· Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports on your phone.

· Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos — even video clips — of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.

· Take advantage of location-based mapping technology. Services such as AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you seek evacuation routes or avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines, as well as track a family member’s wireless device in case you get separated.

Maximizing Service During and After a Storm:

· Try text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. All of AT&T’s wireless devices are text messaging capable. Depending on your text or data plan, additional charges may apply.

· Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.

· Be prepared for high call volume. During an emergency, many people are trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.

FIRST INSURANCE COMPANY OF HAWAII ISSUES CLAIM REPORTING CONTACTS & GUIDELINES

With the approach of Hurricanes Iselle and Julio toward Hawaii, First Insurance Company of Hawaii (FICOH) has dispatched additional catastrophe adjusters from the mainland and arranged for catastrophe call center operators to be available over the weekend to take claims.

Claims may be reported via the following numbers:

Storm-related claims:
Catastrophe call center: 1-888-FICOH 4 U (1-888-342-6448)

All other claims:
Oahu: (808) 527-7711
Neighbor Islands toll free: (800) 272-5202
Fax: (808) 545-3120

Here are tips to stay safe during and after the storm and to help you through the claims process.

During the storm:

• If you stay home during a tropical storm or hurricane, always stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors. Get on the side of the house opposite from the wind.

• Use telephones for emergencies only.

• Listen for radio or television reports from the National Weather Service and follow instructions.

• Avoid using utilities during the storm. Instead, rely on battery-powered appliances and use candles with caution.

• If you evacuate your home, take family pets and other valuables with you. You may not have the opportunity to retrieve these items later.

After the storm:

• Protect your health by making sure refrigerated food has not spoiled.

• Watch for falling objects as weakened tree limbs or structural debris may collapse and cause serious injury.

• Avoid electrical shock by not touching any wires or objects that are in contact with them.

• Monitor radio and/or television for reports before leaving your home or evacuation shelter.

In the event of a loss:

• Report your loss promptly.

• Report your loss only once.

• Provide the following information with the report of a loss:

• Policy Number

• Named Insured on the Policy

• Date, Time, and Location of the loss or damage

• Description of the damage

• All contact information for the insured and/or representatives

• If multiple buildings, please specify which buildings are damaged with specific addresses

After a claim has been received, a claims representative will call to speak with you about the loss and arrange an inspection of the damaged property. This list is intended to help you with the claims process.

• Look for potential safety risks. If the building is unstable, do not enter.

• Report downed power lines or gas leaks to authorities as soon as possible.

• Make emergency repairs to your building to mitigate your damages when safe.

• Protect personal property from further damage.

• Do not discard any item without first speaking with a claims representative

• Keep an accurate record of any repair expenditures

• Be prepared to provide copies of all documents (inventories, receipts, invoices, etc.) to the claims representative.

For the latest tips and updates, visit www.ficoh.com

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