NOT PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES COULD BE DISASTROUS.
Personally, I’ve been preparation-minded for the last 20 years. I’m not looking for the end of the world, but emergency situations show up in all kinds of different scenarios. I experienced the only tornado that anyone remembers ever hitting Detroit. While my home wasn’t severely affected but I had friends and relatives whose homes were seriously damaged and who lost power for days.
I also remember the big mid-west blackout in the late eighties. That was an event where my prepping served us well. We utilized stored food (no grocery stores for a couple of days), charcoal to cook up refrigerated foods, candles, flashlights, batteries, and an emergency asthma inhaler (for our neighbor).
MISSILES AND HURRICANES AND VOLCANOES – OH MY!
Once I’ve moved to Hawaii I soon felt like there was a reason this instinct to prepare for emergency situations evolved in me.
My second month on Oahu the first of several hurricanes came in to greet me. I soon realized that I would probably need to get accustomed to warnings and sirens. Hurricanes Celia, Darby, Madeline and Lester either hit landfall or passed close enough to effect life on the islands all within 10 weeks of each other. I hadn’t purchased emergency supplies when the first one came through, but I was definitely stocked up by the last one.
My home has lost power twice in the last two years due to weather conditions. Once a few hours, the other about a day. That day several of my emergency kit items made life a little easier.
Since then, there’s been the much publicized missile launch warning last year and several tropical storms. Currently, there is of course the eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the big island. While we are a few islands away, we were really glad to have face masks handy in our prep bags to counteract the volcanic gases.
Local news stations spend a great deal of time talking about weather. There are a crazy amount of visitors all year, good surfing depends on the right weather conditions, volcanic gases can be a big problem and there is very often the possibility that a natural weather or geological situation will affect life on da ‘aina.
HAWAI’I – A PREPPER’S PARADISE
Inconvenient, even devastating events can happen anywhere. Storms, black-outs, fires, and floods can occur anywhere and at any time. Preparing for such emergencies wherever you live is a good idea.
Living here in Hawaii you often get reminded of a need to be prepared for emergencies. Prep lists show up from all kinds of resources; University of Hawaii, the electric company, neighborhood groups, grocery stores, hardware stores and so on. These prep instructions provided yesterday by Hawaii News Now:
You should stock your home with supplies that may be needed during the emergency period. At a minimum, these supplies should include:
- Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
- A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food.
- A first aid kit and manual.
- A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
- Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
- Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
- Prescription medicines and special medical needs.
- Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
- Disposable cleaning cloths, such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
- Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
- An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
Another example of Hawaii’s continuous focus on emergency preparation is an annual conference hosted by the Pacific Risk Management Ohana. Today was the first day of a four-day event aimed at helping Hawaii’s community leaders prepare for natural disasters. The theme for this year’s conference is Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction. It features topics that range from disaster management and economic sustainability, to water quality and citizen health.
WHAT ELSE WE PREPPED
Here are some additional items Cortez and I have accumulated and stored in quick-access bags in our home and truck:
- Important papers (copies)
- A change of clothes
- Some comfy shoes/boots
- An instant tent
- Solar phone chargers
- Solar and wind-up NOAA radio with flashlight
- Emergency water packets
- Lots of bottled water
- Pocket knives
- Matches and lighters
- Snacks 😊
EYES ON THE EYE
Right now islanders have an eye on the weather reports tracking the eye of Hurricane Hector. As of a few hours ago it looks like Hector is going to pass south of The Big Island, with its affects being lots of wind and rain – but not a direct hit. We won’t get an “all clear” until sometime on Wednesday, but we live a common-sense prepping, “no worries” lifestyle. Mother Nature’s gonna do what she wants to do.
Remarkably, the islands of Hawaii (with the exception of Kauai) appear to be immune from direct hurricane hits. The United States Geological Service states that “more commonly, near-misses that generate large swells and moderately high winds causing varying degrees of damage are the hallmark of hurricanes passing close to the islands.”
We did get great news today regarding a different island emergency. Geologists are reporting that the very tenacious Fissure #8 which emerged from the eruption of the Kilauea volcano has almost completely shut down. Lava from this opening destroyed hundreds of acres of land and over 500 homes that were in its path. Strong hurricane winds over this fissure and the volcano summit could be catastrophic.
I know this may look a bit overwhelming. Here’s a shortcut to the process that can set you up quickly and still provide you some peace of mind:
- Gather your essential documents (and an account passwords sheet) and make copies
- Put some cash in an envelope (even if it’s just $20)
- Get a pre-packed emergency supply kit with essentials to cover the amount of people that you are protecting
Over the years I’ve researched or purchased a variety of these type of items. If you’re starting from scratch this is one of my favorites for its combination of quality and value. If you already have some food options, you may want to try one less food-focused, like this emergency essentials kit from Amazon.
Remember, basic emergency preparation does not mean you’re a doomsday planner. It is a responsible act to be ready for emergency situations. Make plans, take care of your children and pets, and make sure you can ride out a few (or even several) days of inconvenience with a little comfort.
Stay safe. Mahalo for stopping by. Aloha,