09:12 AM

Tropical Storm Olivia Spurs Hawaii Wing Preparations

Capt. Jennifer Herrington 
Public Affairs Officer
Hawaii Wing 

As Tropical Storm Olivia inched closer to the islands of Maui and Hawaii, the Hawaii Wing launched aircrews Monday to warn the public that a tropical storm warning is in effect on those islands.

Although Olivia was downgraded from a hurricane to tropical storm status Monday afternoon, Hawaii residents are being urged to prepare for the storm’s arrival. The wing has encouraged its members to prepare their families, secure their property, check on their neighbors' needs and plan to evacuate or shelter in place.

Planning for Olivia began Friday, with the Hawaii Wing collaborating with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Preparations continued during the wing's weekend Annual Conference at Hickam Air Force Base.

Col. Chantal Lonergan, wing commander, and 2nd Lt. Kamalama Kaikuana, assistant director of communications, attended Emergency Management Agency briefings on Sunday, and Kaikuana attended additional briefings Monday.

From the Big Island of Hawaii, Lt. Col. Dana McLaughlin, incident commander, has been coordinating planning for mission requests from both the state agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"For storms like this, preparedness is always important. We are working closely with both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and HIEMA today to make sure that everyone is prepared before the storm hits," McLaughlin said in an email to Hawaii Wing staff.

In addition to the pre-landfall flights launched Monday, damage assessment flights are anticipated after the storm’s passage.