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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Hurricane preparedness urged

 •  Prepare now for hurricane threat

By Johnny Brannon
Advertiser Staff Writer

It's only a matter of time before the next hurricane slams Hawai'i, so residents should prepare themselves and their homes as the storm season progresses, weather and disaster officials say.

"Hurricanes have hit Hawai'i in the past and will in the future, and it takes action by the people to determine whether they are going to be victims or survivors," James Weyman, director of the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, said yesterday, the start of national Hurricane Awareness Week.

"Don't get into a state of complacency," warned Larry Kanda of Hawai'i State Civil Defense. "It's a matter of when, not if."

Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs to Nov. 30 in the Central Pacific region that includes Hawai'i. The most dangerous months historically have been July, August and September.

This season, forecasters expect three or four storms in the region, ranging from tropical depressions to full-blown hurricanes. And all it takes is one, officials warn.

There were three serious storms and one hurricane in the region last season. One of them — "Daniel" — just missed the islands, but could have been devastating if it had grown stronger and turned slightly south, one meteorologist said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated when hurricane season begins in the Central Pacific.