Your Go-Kit

In the face of a Natural Disaster, we have two choices. We can get out of the way, or we can seek shelter. Either way, you need two kinds of Emergency Kits: 
 
  • One kit contains the supplies for three days will need when you are in a shelter.  It is called a go-kit. It is the backpack, suitcase or wheeled cooler that is packed and ready to go. 
  • The second kit contains your recovery supplies. It is the camping equipment and supplies you will need to survive until you can find suitable housing. Be ready to live without outside supplies for at least a month. That means no electricity, no water, no medicine and no banking until the electricity can be restored.  

Here is a checklist for your go-kit:

  • important documents
    • identification card or driver’s license
    • credit cards
    • bank account information
    • medical insurance cards 
    • advanced healthcare directives
    • copies of titles and deeds to property
    • a copy of your prescriptions
  • change of clothes and sturdy shoes
  • emergency radio preferably solar-powered or hand crank
  •  flashlight
  • spare batteries
  • a manual can opener
  • first-aid kit
  • water, 1 gallon per person per day
  • hygiene supplies, T-paper, soap, toothbrush and plastic bags to contain shit and urine.
  •  nonperishable foods,  (energy bars, jerky, nuts, canned foods)
  • a whistle, you can blow a whistle  a lot longer than you can holler for help.
  •  Cash in small bills sufficient to buy supplies until the banks can reopen.
  • Essentially you need to be prepared to camp out within the shelter. Emergency shelters provide a roof over your head and protection from flying debris. Don’t expect anything more.

Designate a central communications point for your family. If you have friends on the mainland designate someone everyone will call to confirm where you are and that you are alright. If you don’t know anyone on the mainland, try to find someone on the neighbor island you can designate as a contact point.

Your long-term survival equipment and supplies

Think about how you’re going to protect your supplies during the storm. I recommend you store your supplies in your car. You may have to dig your car out of storm debris but at least your supplies will not be blowing all over the neighborhood.

In Hawaii, 80% of our homes will be destroyed by a category three hurricane. This means  more than half a million people will have to be sheltered until housing can be restored. It won’t be easy, but I am planning to be able to camp out for at least a year. I will stay on my property to protect it from looters until order is restored. For those on the mainland, depending on the situation, you can start over in a new town. That is not practical in Hawaii unless I decide to return to the mainland.

How quickly and comfortably we can recover from a disaster depends on how well we have planned and how much money we have. If you live in an area where you can drive out of the disaster zone, plan where you will go and how you will find housing.  if you cannot leave, your only alternative may be camping out.

If camping out is your only alternative, make sure you know what to do. Take your equipment to the beach and enjoy a weekend camp out.  The time to get familiar with your equipment is before a disaster. If you find you are short of something you can always go to the store and pick it up. That won’t be possible if you find you need something after disaster strikes.

There are alternatives to a tent. Again, it depends on how much money you have. The only problem with mini-homes, we used to call them travel trailers, is they will probably be destroyed by a storm. Of course, you can always build one around whatever is left of the bathroom and the foundation of your home.

More information is available at www.scd.hawaii.gov