Prepping for Disaster

Hurricane Iniki
Hurricane Iniki from Space

FEMA tells us we need to prepare to be on our own for a few days after a disaster.  We must be prepared to survive after a disaster. A big hurricane will probably result in massive damage to infrastructure.  Highways will take days to open and if our harbors are damaged mainland supply chains will be interrupted.

Realistically, we should be prepared to take care of ourselves and our families for at least a month.  We need basic camping gear and long storage life food that requires little preparation.

Shelters may not provide anything more than a roof over your head.  Most will have cots, but you need to bring everything else you need to be reasonably comfortable.  Build a safe room in your home or arrange with friends who live in a concrete reinforced building to stay with them.

The Red Cross can open a maximum of 27 Shelters on Oahu. There are 1.4 million people on Oahu. You cannot depend on going to a shelter. There may not be one available.

Have a “go bag” prepared for each family member so you can grab it and go in an emergency.  You will not be allowed to bring anything that cannot fit under your cot, so pack only the essentials and keep everything compact.  Bring supplies for 2-3 days.  Pack everything else in your car.  Your car may be damaged, but at least you should be able to find it and it should keep your supplies intact.  You might even consider storing your emergency supplies in a secure storage locker. Just be sure you have a way to get to your locker when the roads are blocked and there is no electricity.

If you leave your supplies in your home, there is a good chance they will be blown all over the neighborhood.  Our single wall homes will not survive a category 3 hurricane. Go to shelters early.  They will fill up quickly and late arrivals may be turned away. Be prepared to take care of yourself first, then your family and finally do what you can to help your neighbors.

When I return home after a big storm, I can expect to see a pile of kindling or perhaps a bare slab.  I am going to have to camp out till my home can be restored. The better prepared I am the more comfortable my family’s recovery will be.

Prepping for Disasters Infographic

2 Replies to “Prepping for Disaster”

    1. HI John, Good to hear from you again. The last time we talked we were investigating the possibility of creating a bike trail around Hoomalahia Reservoir. I still think it was a good idea. Kaneohe Neighborhood Board asked me to organize Kaneohe for emergency preparedness and this has all kind of grown from that. Iʻve come to realize that creating resilience is what my life as a forester has been about, but beyond caring for our natural resources, we have to build resilience into our lives. People who are struggling to survive donʻt have much interest in anything else and the poorest of us are most vulnerable.

      Iʻm working to get Kaneohe Certified as tsunami ready. The big job left is to find out what resources Kaneohe has to help it recover from a disaster. We have organized a Kaneohe Emergency Preparedness Committee with four Board members and two public citizens involved. Do you have time to participate? Our meetings are usually held by webinar rather than a physical meeting. The biggest thing we need to do is organize our neighborhoods so we know who is physically challenged and my need extra help and what talents are available that can help. We have used nextdoor.com to organize my Mikiola Neighborhood. We currently have about 70 people participating.

      Iʻm still developing this website and probably always will be. A website has to be kept fresh with relevant information or it goes stale. My business is helping people develop on line businesses. If an organization already has a website I can help them leverage local search to get more clients and if the donʻt have a website, I help them build a website that converts visitors into customers.I think financial resilience depends on multiple sources of income, and financial resilience is the core of preparedness. CERT training is important and I try to let folks know when training opportunities are available.

      I develop teams of people working for common goals. Whether it is conservation, social justice or creating an income, people working together can create miracles.

      Good to hear from you again. Stay in touch. Bill, kumuwaiwai@me.com, 375-1114

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*