REPORT FROM THE RED CROSS – In the past 5 years, we have had 5 near major disasters in Hawaii: Hurricanes Flossie and Felicia, and the past 3 tsunami scares, including last year’s Japan tsunami, which caused $30 million in damage on Hawaii.
It’s not if, but when a major disaster will occur in Hawaii. We are in the middle of hurricane season right now, followed by the rainy season. We continue to urge people in Hawaii to be Red Cross ready.
“Being prepared today can save lives tomorrow,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO for the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross. “You are your best defense against emergencies. The Red Cross can show you what simple steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your loved ones for emergencies.”
There are three things people should do to be prepared – build an emergency preparedness kit, make a plan as to what your family will do in an emergency, and be informed about what resources are available in your community and what types of disasters could occur there.
Your emergency preparedness kit should contain enough supplies for 5-7 days in case you need to evacuate. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks of supplies at home. Supplies should include water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, bedding, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of important personal documents (passport, license, deeds, wills, insurance, household inventory), maps and cash in a waterproof sealable plastic bag, and items for pets including food, crate, and leash.
Your emergency plan should be a joint effort, including the members of your household. Make sure each person knows how to reach household members, including an out-of-area emergency contact person, and knows where to meet if they can’t go home. Being informed is important. Learn about what resources are available and what types of disasters are most likely to occur where you live, learn, work and play. Take a first aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.
For more detailed information on how to prepare for disasters and to purchase emergency preparedness and first aid items, visit www.hawaiiredcross.org. Red Cross first aid/CPR trainings are offered on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. You can register on-line for these courses at www.hawaiiredcross.org.
The American Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world. To send a contribution, mail your check to:American Red Cross Hawaii State Chapter 4155 Diamond Head Road Honolulu, HI 96816 Make a secure online donation at www.hawaiiredcross.org