When you think of Hawaii, you think of sandy beaches, waves, and ocean for days. But in reality, Hawaii sees an average of 17 inches of rain every year, with a rainy season that goes from November to March. In fact, just last week, the entire island of Oahu was under a flash flood warning resulting from heavy showers and thunderstorms.
When it comes to flash floods, people are encouraged to take extra precautions, particularly if they live in areas that are prone to flooding or if they are driving. Even though Hawaii residents are not be complete strangers to flash floods – after all, the state sees an average of eight flash floods per year – it is always important to be reminded of certain safety measures they can take when a flash flood advisory is issued for their area
Statistics show a dangerous rising trend of vehicle-related flash flood deaths, which is why at Hawaii Restoration Services we encourage the message of the National Weather Service: “Turn around, don’t drown!
Preparing for a Flash Flood in Hawaii
Residents of Oahu and other islands of Hawaii should be mindful and prepared for possible flash floods. Historically, the months of November through March have seen the most flash floods, so now is the time to take action.
The Red Cross recommends that residents of Hawaii take the following precautions to be ready in case of a flash flood or other weather-related catastrophes:
- Make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit, which should include water, non-perishable food items, a flashlight, batteries, weather radio, first aid kit, a good supply of any necessary medications, tools, personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, cell phones with chargers, emergency contact information, cash and an emergency blanket.
- Prepare a household evacuation plan and share it with every member of the family. Practice different scenarios and ways to safely evacuate when presented with a variety of situations. Don’t forget to designate a particular place to meet if you and your family became separated.
- Do you have flood insurance? Make sure to add it to your policy ahead of the season.
- If your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area take additional precautions and always stay up to date on weather-related advisories and warnings.
There are certain things you could do to keep your property protected from a possible flash flood:
- Elevate and reinforce your home if you live in a floodplain. This will make it harder for a flood to significantly damage your property.
- Make sure your furnace, water heater and electric panel are above a possible water level. Ideally, you’d want to consult a professional for this task.
- Floodwater might make its way to your drains. Install check valves to prevent it.
- Check with the county to see if you are allowed to construct flood walls to prevent water to coming into the premises.
- Seal your walls, particularly in the basement.
- Keep sandbags available at all times
The Calm After the Storm
If your property was hit by heavy rain or a flash flood, don’t panic. Not everything is lost! Contact Hawaii Restoration Services at (808) 468-7978 day or night, we are available for emergency services when you need us the most. Our team of water damage experts will be ready to come to your home or business and assess the situation. They will then give you a plan of action and get to work as efficiently as possible to make sure your property is clean and safe for your return