Emergency preparedness is paramount

| October 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

Dennis C. Drake
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii
Public Affairs

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Living on an island and preparing for natural and man-made disasters go hand in hand, as events of the past month underscore the importance of being prepared.

In just the past few weeks, Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston with torrential rains, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Florida communities, Mexico City sustained a powerful 7.1 earthquake with great loss of life, and Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.

Hawaii is prone for hurricanes, tsunamis, power outages and flash floods. Hurricanes normally come with days of warning time; yet, tsunami warnings are often only hours. Earthquakes give little or no warning, and power outages can occur unexpectedly from lighting strikes or high winds.

All of this adds up to one fact: the time to be prepared is now – not hours before an event happens.

As we’ve seen here when an emergency is forecast, store shelves get stripped of the basics – water, bread, flashlights, batteries and other essentials – and gas station lines can stretch around the block. Waiting until the last minute to be prepared can have bad consequences.

Get prepared now!
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency recommends having a 14-day supply of water, food and medications. Have a battery-powered AM-FM radio; flashlights with extra batteries; a whistle, blankets and tarps; a first aid kit; cash in small bills; personal hygiene items; and your important documents in plastic bags.

Have a family emergency plan, that is, know where to meet and how to communicate. In Hawaii, cellphone towers are often jammed during emergencies.

Have an evacuation plan – know where your nearest shelters are located and know where to reach higher ground.

Remember this quote: “An informed public knows what to expect and what to do for all disasters – ahead of time!”

The AtHoc Mass Warning Notification System, part of the Army’s emergency management modernization program, ensures all communities and personnel – Soldiers, civilians and contractors – are immediately and simultaneously notified in the event of a threat or an emergency. All U.S. Army Hawaii personnel must register. Call 656-0219 for details. (Courtesy graphic)

The AtHoc Mass Warning Notification System, part of the Army’s emergency management modernization program, ensures all communities and personnel – Soldiers, civilians and contractors – are immediately and simultaneously notified in the event of a threat or an emergency. All U.S. Army Hawaii personnel must register. Call 656-0219 for details. (Courtesy graphic)

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Category: News, Safety

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