September is the Month to Prepare
The month of September of is National Preparedness Month, and so far in the 2015 hurricane season, the Big Island has seen some drastic weather forces threaten the island.
Hawai’i’s Red Cross encourages households to use the month of September to be aware and ready for the next disaster or emergency.
“Having a game plan in place is essential for all households so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs,” said Coralie Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer for the Hawai’i State Chapter. “We are having a busy hurricane season and if residents haven’t already created or updated their emergency plans, National Preparedness Month is a great time to do so.”
The Red Cross encourages community members to “Make a Plan.” Since disasters can come at any time, the Red Cross advises families to put together an emergency plan so everyone knows what to do if something happens. The plan should include ways to contact one another if something occurs, as well as two locations to meet, one near home and another outside the neighborhood. An emergency contact person should also be identified outside of the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded.
Emergency plans should also include decisions about where family members will go if an evacuation becomes necessary and what route is the best way to get there.
Another resource is the Red Cross Emergency app. The Red Cross says the app is an all-in-one resource that includes 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, maps to find open shelters, and step-by-step instructions on what to do before, during, and after a disaster strikes, along with life saving first aid instructions, diagrams, and videos for 20 emergencies.
A unique feature of the app is its “I’m safe” button to let other family members know that you are safe if and when a disaster strikes.
In addition to a making a plan, and preparing with a app download of important information, the Red Cross advises preparation through building an emergency kit in a container. A seven-day supply of water, which should include one gallon per person, per day, should be in the kit, along with nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, any necessary medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, and copies of important personal documents.
To learn more about preparing for emergencies, visit the Hawai’i Chapter of the Red Cross website or call (808) 734-2101.