MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII -- Hawaii is pictured as a perfect paradise but many miles off the shore, the calm waters of the Pacific could change at any moment. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 is and it is vital to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) community that they are prepared if a hurricane strikes the island.
There are three categories of hurricanes, each measured by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale: tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane.
A tropical depression is the least severe of the three, peaking at 38 mph, and tropical storms range anywhere between 39 mph and 73 mph. A hurricane is divided into five categories and the category is based off how fast the wind is, starting at 74 mph and reaching 215 mph.
MCBH has an emergency plan in the event a natural disaster occurs. The base’s Force Protection Office, operating in the Emergency Operations Center, helps execute procedures to support personnel aboard the base.
Jacqueline Freeland, the Installation Protection Officer, said that the good thing about preparing for a hurricane is people have time before it strikes.
“We get notified 96 hours before a hurricane strikes,” Freeland said. “In that time, you can prepare a kit for you and your family.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency urges Hawaii residents to have at least seven to 10 days’ worth of supplies available. This could include food, water, and medicines for yourself, your family and pets, Freeland said.
“Being prepared is a positive thing, it produces readiness,” Freeland said. “We’re ready to go or sustain ourselves in case the power or food supplies go out.”
Freeland mentioned between May 29 and June 7, her team will be conducting a Makani Pahili drill with the base to make sure they’re ready. The mission of the drill is to protect the installation in conjunction with tenant commands, local, State and Federal agencies, prepare, respond and recover from the effects of natural or manmade incidents to protect the community with minimal disruption to the execution of tenant unit’s missions.
“I think it’s a big deal on how ready we are,” she said. “Our office is working with the units to support the families, mission and Hawaii.”
To join the Community Emergency Response Team, volunteers can call the FPO at 257-8460, 8820, 8845 or 8819. Volunteers that want to join will go through 20 hours of training.
For more information on emergency preparation, visit www.honolulu.gov/demhazards/hurricaneinfo.html and www.ready.gov.