Busier than usual hurricane season likely for isles
By Gerry Peters
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, experts are expecting another above-average year for tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific.
This is what we read and heard about in June, when the “guess prognosis” was announced for the media by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center team, the National Weather Service, Civil Defense administrators and so on.
They said another El Niño may be here by the end of summer, or maybe not. They also said, however, that there is what is now being called “a residual El Niño” area of warmer-than-“normal” seas north of the Islands. And that’s probably one reason why we have had so many storms pass us on the north side — along the Lahaina, Waikiki and main Oahu residential and business districts the last two years; and you, kamaaina, know that’s unusual.
What does this tell us? Well, it’s like Las Vegas — place your bet. But this year, have a two-week supply of water, food and the like, forecasters said — to their credit, they now always remind us that it only takes one. Furthermore, they add Hawaii is different than any other U.S. hurricane danger zone; whereby a so-called “mild tropical storm” (39-74 mph winds) may be — let’s say — 50 mph at the airport or flat land, but 75-100 mph in our unique mountain and valley wind-speed-up-zones. In fact, on Oahu, heavier construction is now required by the building code in these zones.
Let’s briefly bring up some things not covered. Hurricane connectors — called hurricane clips usually — are available for pre-1994 homes, including single wall homes, and add the same required strength in the roof-to-wall requirement as the current new building code. They can be installed on the outside, in one day, for very little cost and your hurricane insurance company will provide discounts if done up to state and insurance industry standards. HPS Construction does and has been doing this since Hurricane Iniki; it is going on 400,000 connectors installed.
Here are a few more facts about HPS Construction’s hurricane connectors that you should know:
• Generally, they cost $1,300-$1,400 for one-story houses of any year, including single walls, and about $1,700 for two-story houses.
• HPS uses the strongest, highest possible weatherized metal and other coatings, and paints them to match the house, so as to be unobtrusive and barely noticeable.
• The company issues Hurricane Insurance Certification Letters.
• Costs are under $200 for products and installation of 1994-and-newer houses for garage doors, carports, lanais, flat-roof 10-minute deployable systems, window hurricane storm tape and other tricks of the trade.
Gerry Peters is HPS president and general manager.