Remaining prepared for emergencies during hurricane season
Sponsored by Hawaiian Electric Companies
Hawaii is in the midst of hurricane season and it’s important to remain prepared for emergencies. The Maui Electric ohana works hard to keep up with the growing need to provide customers with safe and reliable electric service. But in emergency cases, such as storms, power outages can occur. Director of Operational Technology at Hawaiian Electric Companies and Maui Electric Chris Reynolds wants to help you and your family be prepared.
Up to eight tropical cyclones were forecasted for this year’s Central Pacific Hurricane season, underscoring the need for customers to have emergency plans in place.
Maui Electric, along with Hawaiian Electric on Oahu and Hawaii Electric Light on Hawaii Island, also have been working to build more resilient grids year-round. Much of that work centers around upgrading and reinforcing poles, lines and equipment and clearing vegetation. During storms, trees and other large debris can bring down power lines and other electrical equipment. It’s important for homeowners to clear loose debris away from structures. After a storm passes and there are outages, have a communication and evacuation plan. This will help members of your household reconnect after an emergency. Make sure to have a Home Survival Kit, as well as a Go-Kit that includes essentials such as food, water and medications to last you and each member of your family for 14 days. You can find more information at mauielectric.com/prepare.
Here are some examples of the companies’ ongoing resilience work: Nearly $17 million was spent in 2018 to clear trees and vegetation from around power lines and equipment, resulting in fewer and briefer outages during storms. This includes continued upgrades of utility poles rated to withstand higher wind gusts. Pilot installation of insulated power lines to reduce outages caused by falling trees and branches on conductors in forested areas of Upcountry Maui and East Moloka’i. Planned installation of Trip-Savers, a new device on power lines that helps isolate and protect the electrical system during outages, in parts of Upcountry Maui.
If you ever see a downed power line, assume the line is energized and stay a safe distance away at least 30 feet – or about length of four cars. Call 911 or our Maui Electric trouble line.