It’s About Time

Ruth Wong

Being ready for
a hurricane is

FLORIDA has been hit by two hurricanes in a month (and a third might be on its way), causing misery that lasts long after the storm passes. Halfway into the hurricane season, we can be thankful that Hawaii has been spared thus far.

When I moved to Hawaii in 1967, I knew nothing about hurricanes. Once when a hurricane warning was issued, fearing a power outage, I busied myself by cooking five pounds of chicken thighs, a pot of rice and baking some brownies (got to have some comfort food, I reasoned).

Since then I have come to realize that food is only one aspect of survival. Main areas of concern include utilities (electricity, gas and water), telecommunications, transportation and provisions.

Being organized requires being prepared. The "pre" in prepared refers to making ready beforehand. In this column I'd like to pose 20 questions, or food for thought, regarding personal and household preparation. I invite you to answer them as you read.

Five million Floridians lost power during Hurricane Frances. What would you do:

» If your television, radio and computer didn't work, how would you stay informed?

» If your stove and cooking appliances didn't work, how would you prepare meals?

» If your cordless phones (which rely on electricity) didn't work?

» If you couldn't recharge your cell phone battery?

» If you were on a life support system?

» If you have a fish tank, how could you oxygenate the water without a pump?

» If gas station pumps didn't work?

» If your electric garage door wouldn't open or close, do you know how to operate it manually?

» If the water supply was disrupted, what would you drink?

» How would you cook? Bathe? Do laundry?

» How would you flush the toilet?

» In Florida more than 100,000 went to Red Cross shelters. If you had to evacuate, which shelter would you go to? (I was surprised to find mine was not the school closest to my home.)

» What essentials should you bring?

» What could you bring to pass the time for yourself or your children? (One Floridian said she went stir crazy in the shelter and finally left.)

» What would you do with your pets?

» If the store shelves were empty, what necessities do you need to have a supply of?

» How many meals could you prepare with the items currently in your pantry?

» How would you get your prescription filled?

How many questions did you have answers for? I'll share some answers in the next column. See you in two weeks!

"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail features@starbulletin.com



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