Posted at 1:38 a.m., Monday, August 13, 2007
Disaster preparedness: Checklist
In the event of any hurricane or natural disaster, all residents should make sure they have a disaster plan. Here are some disaster preparedness tips:
Stay informed about the weather and keep in touch with family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
Where will we meet? What if children are at school, parents at work and otherwise scattered through daily activities? Plan a backup meeting place, someplace familiar to everyone.
Consider an off-island telephone contact - a sister in Arizona or an auntie in Las Vegas - so that people here can call there to check in. During the Iniki aftermath on Kaua`i, people could call the Mainland but not across the street. That out-of-danger person can keep track of everyone and offer help and assurance.
Your evacuation plan
Arrange transportation. Fill up gas tank.
Plan a safe room. A bathroom, pantry or hallway with no windows or only a small window, where your family could stay safely sheltered through a storm.
Develop a family plan.
Plan for special needs. Have what you need to care for babies, family members taking medication, senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Know how to shut off utilities: gas, water, electricity.
Plan what to do with pets.
Assemble supplies and have a carrying case nearby if you need to evacuate. You can buy a cheap duffel bag at a secondhand store or use a cooler or backpack. Each person in the family should have a kit.
Have important family documents and small valuables where you can grab them.
Store family photos and things you can't carry in a windowless room above flood risk levels.