Sunday, August 3, 2014

Preparing for disaster

Today, I have been spending time preparing for Hurricane Iselle. It's expected to hit the islands as nothing more than a tropical storm, but I feel the need to prepare accordingly. I have to admit, I have never put together an emergency kit in my life. Like many folks here in Hawaii, I have survived two of the biggest hurricanes to hit the islands, multiple tsunami threats, and various other weather phenomenon that have struck our homes. As a result, many of us often feel like everything is going to be fine, so we never prepare properly, and any preparations we do make is usually done at the last minute.

I think a lot of us are guilty of living our lives this way. Many of us walk through life figuring that everything is going to be okay. Then, when something bad does happen, it completely throws everything out of sync. The slightest change makes it feel like the world is ending. True of natural disasters, but also true in a lot of other areas in life. Many people are ill-equipped to handle the little problems that life offers. As in preparing for a natural disaster, if we are to be ready for the dangers or difficulties we will face in everyday life, we need to put in the work needed to prepare properly.

Need to pass a big test, you better study. Want to write a book, better start writing. As for me, I need to prepare for hurricane season. My perspective on life is much different than when I was a teen going out to surf during tropical storms - which created enormous waves. My life isn't the only one I need to take care of, so I need to grow up and do the things responsible adults are supposed to do. So, like anything in life I don't know a lot about, I am starting with the basics: water, canned goods, batteries, hand crank emergency radio/flashlight, and other essentials.

When in doubt, start with the basics first, and then work your way up. Thanks for letting me blabber on about this new event in my life. For those of you who are also preparing for the storm, I'm leaving a list of some of the recommended emergency essentials below. A little preparation can save us from a lot of trouble further down the road. If I'm missing anything, please leave a comment below and I will add it in. Have a blessed week, everyone!

FEMA recommends the following items be in your emergency supply kit:



First Aid Kit - $22.87  for a 205 piece kit on Amazon / $17.47 at Walmart

 Fire Extinguisher - $19.97 on Amazon / Walmart $20.67

Prescription Medication, prescription glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution

Water – One gallon per day per person (5 to 7 day supply) / I got a clear plastic 5-gallon at Walmart for $8.18

Non-perishable food (5 to 7 day supply)

Hand crank or battery-powered radio ($15) and a NOAA Weather Radio ($27) with tone alert and extra batteries

Flashlight & extra batteries

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food

Local maps ($5 on Amazon)

Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Other supplies you may need


Baby essentials – formula, diapers, wipes, bottles, etc…

Pet essentials – food, water, medication

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

Matches in Waterproof Container or Waterproof Matches

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items also suggests:

Emergency information – first aid reference material, pamphlets, print outs (free publications)

Cash or traveler’s checks and change – If the power is out, ATMs will not be operational. If stores are open but the power is out they may only take cash.

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.

Denture needs, extra eyeglasses

For more disaster preparedness information and to download a FEMA emergency supply kit list click HERE.

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