y2k and Hawaii??

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My mom lives on the island of Oahu, in the large city of Honolulu, on the 33rd floor of an apartment building. I am wondering if there is anyone on this message board who lives in Hawaii and has studied the y2k problem and how it will affect that state. I am particularly concerned about shipping because my understanding is that Hawaii basically imports (via air or sea) EVERYTHING consumers use. I am also curious about how Hawaii looks with regards to electricity and telcom issues.

-- KLH (72890@usa.net), October 28, 1998



I live in Hawaii and read all the daily postings on the forum to help in my preparation. Busy schedule and shyness have kept me from jumping in, but I couldn't ignore your post requesting information.

The concerns you feel for your mother are legitimate. You will be unable to get any concrete answers from the utility companies or state agencies. I have tried. My home is on Maui and my own situation will be entirely different from your mother's. As you are aware, each island is demographically different. I spoke with Barbara Tom, Y2k coordinator on Oahu and she spoke in generalities regarding the progress of state agencies. Overall concerns expressed were lack of funds and personnel to solve the problem in time. The governor has been made aware of these concerns. His reaction has been to push legislation through this year for state immunity from Y2k damage. Hawaii has been in a recession for the last 8 years unlike most of the mainland, unemployment is higher than the national average and we are 4th from the bottom of the list of states' growth of personal earnings this year. Deep budget cuts have occurred for several years across all state sectors. None of this bodes well for state Y2k preparedness.

There is no question that there will be periods of blackouts and loss of other public services. Your mother will be particularly vulnerable in her location on the 33rd floor of a highrise. She is also vulnerable being in a heavily populated area, although there is a strong military presence on Oahu to step in and assist in maintaining order. Your assessment of our dependancy on shipping and air transport is accurate and it is to be expected there will be interruptions in deliveries. Stockpiling is common here; I have seen it happen many times in hurricane season and I am positively paranoid about stockpiling toilet paper year round as I have been caught without before...not a roll on the island to be found.

If at all possible, it seems prudent that your mother find another location for the year 2000 other than a highrise in Honolulu and she should begin her preparations now for food, water, paper goods, medical supplies, etc. A two burner propane cookstove would be good for heating food and a supply of oil lamps, candles, flashlights, batteries, etc. The positives are no winter and it is relatively easy to prepare now as there is absolutely no public awareness. I have called the Maui News to request information of any upcoming articles on Y2k and none are planned. I was told they are too busy at this time with the elections. I imagine the governor is also. There is a meeting scheduled today in Lihue, Kauai between the mayor and a newly formed community action group and there may be some news stories to follow from that island.

You may write to the governor to express your concerns and request information:

Gov. Ben Cayetano State Capitol Honolulu, HI 96808

Please feel free to email me at any time and I will give the best answer or opinion I can.

-- susan mainaga (mainaga@webtv.net), October 29, 1998.


Thank you so much for your response! I just emailed my mom to tell her how to get here and read your message! Wow! Looks like things there in HI could get very interesting!


-- KLH (72890@usa.net), October 29, 1998.

If there's no toilet paper, couldn't you roll up a couple of pineapple leaves and use them? Temporarily, of course. 8<)

There are a couple of older threads (look at the bottom of the first page of these forums) that also cover Y2K issues out there, including power, grid interfaces, and the like. Actually, the impact could be less (overall) there: weather's good (not deadly cold like MN or Alberta), the power system is already isolated, so only the local system has to be fixed. Supplies, once present, don't have to be sent anywhere else (each island can "stand alone" if the neighbors fall apart), and there are as many rurual areas as urban - and the two-three urban sections are heavily government involved - and so more likely (if needed) to be maintained in control by martial law.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 29, 1998.


All the reasons you listed is why, IF I was going to move (I'm not as I am already rural and there is no way in the world I could ever afford it) it would have been to Hawaii. Won't be easy, but of all the states I really think they have the best shot at keeping things going IMHO.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 30, 1998.


Mahalo, I have received mail from your mother and will reply shortly. Her mail indicates she is aware and preparing and also considering her position on the 33rd floor. I will reply to her mail shortly; my slowness in posting is due to time difference and attending night classes after work at the community college.

I do think it will be interesting timesin Hawaii; the same will be true for all posters in this forum.

Although I expect shortages and and interruption in services, our greatest challenges will come from the economic hardships that will hit due to our dependence on tourism. Since we are currently operating in a recessionary climate, we may fall harder and lower than other mainland states. It's only speculation at this point, but not too difficult to imagine as I've watched public services being slashed year after year since 1990.

We do have many pluses with our beautiful weather and independent power for each island. It is true that our supplies arrive and do not move elsewhere, but have grave concerns about those supplies arriving with regularity; I have been following news on shipping and transportation for this reason. It might be imagined that we operate on a different system than the 72 hour instore supply, but due to an excellent and frequent shipping system in place, our retail operations are no different than mainland operations.

Another important plus is the spirit of aloha which existed long before it became a catch phrase for the tourist industry. We are a people of diverse cultures who live, love, work and play together with great mutual respect and aloha. This spirit will aid us in taking care of each other and working together toward recovery.


I have taken your suggestion of pineapple leaves under consideration and in the space of a nano second, rejected it. Pineapple leaves are long spikes and machete sharp...I am still shuddering from the thought! However, in the spirit of your resourceful comment, I have looked around and the taro leaves used in preparing laulau will suit the purpose nicely if need arises. :)


Happy to hear you have a safe place. I have already met someone who moved here from Texas to establish a site up on Haleakala. She and her boyfriend are off the grid; have dug a well, bought a generator, set in supplies and purchased a motorcyle for reliable transportation in case of fuel shortage. I was disappointed she was not interested in working toward community preparedness, and very put off by her position of isolation and hints of militant action. I hope not to meet anymore transplants with that attitude.

Mahalo for your thoughtful and interesting posts.

-- Susan Mainaga (mainaga@webtv.net), October 31, 1998.

I see you got my "point", thank you for looking around and finding a real answer.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 31, 1998.


"Point" well taken and your "sharp" riposte' appreciated... LOL

-- Susan Mainaga (mainaga@webtv.net), October 31, 1998.

Hi KLH and Susan--A wonderful man named Karlos (y2kbug@gte.net) is leading a very active y2k group on Kauai, the Community Self Reliance Cooperative. He has managed to get the mayor's attention and is mounting a very effective media campaign. I'm sure he would be happy and able to help you.

I would also suggest that you register at http://www.webpal.org/list.htm It's a project that puts people in touch with others in their geographic area who are concerned about y2k. You only give your email address and location, so your privacy is maintained. Then monthly, the State coordinator will send you the email addresses of others in your area so that you can communicate with them about their y2k interests online.

Best wishes to you both, and to all in the Islands. I hope you'll keep in touch with us here on this forum.


-- Faith Weaver (faith-weaver@usa.net), November 01, 1998.

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