DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Loke Yokoyama, 4, and her brother Kaliko, 18 months, tried out the cots yesterday at a mock evacuation center set up at the hurricane preparedness expo held at the Hawaii Convention Center. CLICK FOR LARGE
Hurricane readiness urged
The Red Cross gives advice on preparing for hurricane season
Although weather officials have predicted a mild hurricane season, the Red Cross warns that Hawaii should still prepare for the worst.
That's why the Hawaii chapter held its hurricane preparedness exposition yesterday at the Hawaii Convention Center, with the state Civil Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Guest speakers and demonstrations explained what residents need to know before hurricane season, including obtaining flood insurance and preparing disaster kits.
The convention center was chosen because in a disaster, it would be what Maria Lutz, Hawaii Red Cross director for disaster services, dubbed as a "supershelter." The center can hold up to 19,000 people during an emergency.
It wouldn't be easy living, though. Most people will have only about 10 square feet of space per person, which may be enough for a child but is not enough space for most adults to lie down.
A mock evacuation shelter was set up at the center detailing the tiny space allowed for an individual, just so residents can decide for themselves whether heading to a shelter would be ideal for them, Lutz said.
"It's going to be harsh conditions," Lutz said. "People have to ask themselves whether this will work for their family."
Alternatives to going to a shelter include retrofitting your home or making other arrangements in advance.
People with pets should also have a plan for them, since animals are not allowed at the shelter, officials said.
Navy Lt. Robert Arias, 39, brought his wife and infant child to the expo. He assisted in recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and said the experience helped him raise red flags about his own home.
"I own a home in Kailua and it's only a single-wall home," Arias said. "One of the things I learned down there is that no matter how much you plan, sometimes it's not good enough."
PREPARING A HURRICANE KIT
Everyone in Hawaii needs a three-day emergency kit. It should include:
» Water: one gallon of water per person per day.
» Food: at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food, such as canned meats, fruits and vegetables and juices.
» A first-aid kit.
» Tools and supplies: mess kits or disposable cups, plates and utensils; battery-operated radio; flashlight; extra batteries; emergency manual; cash or traveler's checks, change; can opener, utility knife; toilet paper, towelettes; soap, liquid detergent; feminine supplies; personal hygiene items.
» Clothing and bedding: one change of clothing and footwear per person; blankets or sleeping bags.
» Special items: baby formula, diapers, bottles, prescription medications; denture supplies; contact lens supplies; extra eyeglasses.
» Entertainment: quiet games, cards, toys and books.
Source: American Red Cross