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Red Cross urges households to prepare for emergencies

By Staff | Sep 12, 2013

Disasters can strike fast, often without warning.

We all hope Maui’s lucky streak will continue, but in the last two decades, we have been threatened by powerful storms, tsunamis, dangerous fires and earthquakes.

Are you ready to help your family in an emergency situation?

Power and services could be knocked out for days, with police and ambulances temporarily unavailable.

September is National Preparedness Month, so the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, encourages all households to prepare for the next emergency or disaster.

“Having a game plan in place is essential for all households, so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs,” said Coralie Matayoshi, chief executive officer for the Hawaii State Chapter.

Everyone in the household should contribute to the plan. Family members may not be together when a disaster happens, so predetermined places to meet, evacuation routes and emergency contacts must be handled in advance.

Keeping up with technology, the Red Cross has free mobile apps that provide information on what to do before, during and after emergencies, including developing an emergency plan.

“People can use the ‘Make a Plan’ feature in the apps to create their plan and then share it with their loved ones,” Matayoshi said.

“The pre-loaded content in the apps gives people access to vital information to use during emergencies, even if they can’t connect to the internet.”

The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for “American Red Cross.”

For more information on how to prepare for disasters and assemble an emergency kit, visit www.redcross.org/hawaii or contact the Hawaii Red Cross at (808) 734-2101.