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September 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | September 2019 | Are You Prepared?

We’re smack dab in the middle of it. Yes, the protests about the Mauna…yes, the Pacific Ocean…yes, many things. But today I’m talking about hurricane season in Hawaii. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th each year. This is the period when strong tropical cyclones are more likely to form, but these storms can occur anytime during the year.

I grew up hearing that Hawaii Island would never be hit with a hurricane, but we now know that was a myth. The damage, power outages, and impassable roadways experienced from Hurricane Iselle, turned tropical storm just before reaching our island, in 2014 is strong evidence against that myth. Hurricane Lane (2018) made a close pass and dumped massive amounts of rain on our island resulting in flash floods and mudslides, and about $42.5 million in damages statewide. A hurricane does not have to make a direct hit to cause severe damage.

The National Weather Service has forecasted a 70% chance of a higher than normal hurricane season for Hawaii. Even though we haven’t had a major storm this season, don’t let your guard down. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to prepare your two-week emergency kit. If you’re not sure what your kit should include, there are resources available to help. Go to the DOH disaster preparedness website at: http://health.hawaii.gov/prepare/protect-your-family/prepare-an-emergency-kit to “Get a Kit.” Another helpful resource is available on the Hawaii Electric Light website. Go to https://www.hawaiielectriclight.com to download the Handbook for Emergency Preparedness and the Emergency Preparedness Checklist.

The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce recently joined the executive committee of the Hawaii Island Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Team, or HI-DARRT for short. This is a coalition of relief agencies who stand ready to help our community recover from a disaster. During periods of fair weather and no disasters, HI-DARRT prepares its plans for response. During disasters, HI-DARRT serves as a central point for requests for assistance, as well as a method of distributing resources. One of the goals of HI-DARRT is to reduce duplicate requests for help. HI-DARRT invited the HICC to join its committee in the hopes that the HICC would be a strong conduit to keep its members informed and communicate needs for help. Likewise, HICC members can channel requests for help through our HI-DARRT representative as well.

Finally, Monday September 2nd is Labor Day. Not only is this a federal holiday, it is the 125th time it will be celebrated nation-wide. This day honors the American labor movement and the many contributions workers have made to the economy and well-being of our great country. The state of Oregon was the first to recognize Labor Day as an official holiday in 1887 but later it became a federal holiday in 1894. As you are enjoying your end-of-summer holiday, perhaps with a family bbq, I hope you’ll also take time out to thank a worker for all they do.

Have a great September!
Rhea

September 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter