Determine whether or not to evacuate before a hurricane

If a hurricane threatens Hawaii, the government will set up emergency evacuation shelters. You have to decide on evacuation well before the hurricane strikes, not while the hurricane is advancing down your street. It's far too dangerous to attempt to drive to an evacuation center in high winds: the roads may be impassible due to high water at bridges or flooded underpasses, or they may be obstructed by fallen power poles--and your vehicle can provide little protection from flying debris carried by 100-mph winds.

Houses that are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes include:

  • Those on ridges, where winds accelerate
  • Those in valleys, adjacent to streams, which may flood
  • Those on shorelines, which may experience storm surge, or hurricane-generated waves flooding far inland

If you choose not to evacuate, but your roof blows away, remain inside. Shelter in the smallest interior room in your house, likely a bathroom or a closet, which offers the greatest strength and protection from flying debris.