Get Prepared For Hurricane Season

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - June 01, 2011
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OK, folks, it’s hurricane season, time to drag out your emergency kit. This is not the year to forget, ignore or skimp on it. We’ve had a couple of tsunami scares here at home, and we’re seeing the havoc nature is wreaking on the Mainland. It makes sense to be prepared.

I just spoke to my husband and he’s giving me “that look.” It’s the “you’re going to make me pull down that big, heavy plastic tub from the top shelf of the garage” look. That big heavy plastic tub is filled with really old canned goods and bottled water and who knows what else - so, yup. I am.

It you’re like me, you’ve been listening to this advice for so many years you probably give it all of five seconds of thought before moving on.

That’s not good. Admit it, you threw that kit together years ago and never looked at it again.

Well, time for a refresher, and to help you get organized, the folks at the Hawaii Red Cross have updated their website with tips on getting prepared and organized.

They break it down to three easy steps: 1) Get a kit; 2) Make a plan; 3) Be informed.

GET A KIT: Put one together or renew your Family Disaster Supplies Kit. You’ll need supplies that will last at least five to seven days:

* Emergency medications

* Non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener

* Bottled water (one gallon per person per day)

* A battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries

* Bedding, extra clothes * Copies of important documents, cash, a first aid kit, medication

* Some household tools * Items for babies, pets, and elderly or disabled family members

MAKE A PLAN: Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan.

Identify where to go if you have to evacuate. Choose two places: one in your neighborhood and one outside of it, like a friend’s home or a shelter. Get a good map and be familiar with your area’s inundation zones.

If you go to a Red Cross shelter, bring your disaster supplies kit. Be sure to make advance preparations for your pets and people with special health needs - children, frail, elderly and people with disabilities.

Make a Family Communications Plan. This is important!

Everyone in your family should know how to reconnect with each other. Every member of the family (even if they are elderly, medically frail or a child) should have this information on an emergency card you can keep in your wallet. These should contain work, school and cell phone numbers, and should contain your two meeting places and an out-of-state contact person’s phone number. You need an out-of-state contact because local phone lines may be overloaded or out of service during an emergency. Sending a text message or calling long distance might be easier to do.

BE INFORMED: During a crisis, listen to local media broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest storm conditions. If they tell you to evacuate, do so immediately! Listen to the radio for Civil Defense announcements about which shelters are open.

If a major disaster happens and you’re not able to reconnect with family, you can register on the Safe and Well website to inform your family and friends where you are and how you can all reconnect.

Go to or call 1-866-GET-INFO.

The above website has a plethora of information and downloads available for families, parents, schools and businesses.

The old saying, “better late than never” simply does not apply when it comes to disaster preparedness.

Please, do it this week. Now excuse me while I go remind my husband to drag down that big plastic tub.

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