Tips on preparing for hurricane season disasters - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tips on preparing for hurricane season disasters

John Cummings John Cummings
Various items that can be useful in case of a disaster Various items that can be useful in case of a disaster
Frank Suster Frank Suster
Suster recommended that battery supplies be rotated to be sure they are fresh. Suster recommended that battery supplies be rotated to be sure they are fresh.
Suster also recommended that generators be run about once a month for maintenance. Suster also recommended that generators be run about once a month for maintenance.
By Ramsay Wharton
 
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the hurricane season heats up, are you ready for the next disaster?

I found out that you need more than just water and food to be truly prepared.  I headed to City Mill for these important preparedness tips.

I asked John Cummings of the City & County Department of Emergency Management: "Alright, tell us about the need.  It's time to get ready".

Cummings responded, "Well, yeah you know unfortunately a lot of folks wait until the last minute. (They) wait until the sirens are sounding to go down to stores like City Mill and start buying and that's way too late.  You need to be pro-active.  You need to plan now.  Discuss with your family important things like food and water.  What are you going to do?  Minimum of 5 to 7 days.  You may be on your own following a major disaster like a hurricane.

You have to think about these things.  Prepare for the now and plan now".
 
I also spoke with Frank Suster, the Safety Manager at City Mill: "You've brought out several items.  One of the important items besides the water & getting your canned goods is making sure you have the right electric batteries or generators & fuel".

Suster assured, "Oh, yes, definitely, because even batteries, even if you pre-buy them years in advance, they have a life, a shelf life.  So you wanna rotate those batteries and keep them fresh.

"And the generators have to be maintained?", this reporter asked.

Suster replied, "Oh, definitely.  If you buy a generator and use it once and then you store it for 6 months and don't use it, what happens is the gasoline in it could start screwing up the carburetor and when you DO need it, it's not going to start.  So, you wanna maintain the generator.  Maybe run it at least once a month".
 
Cummings added, "We are the most isolated place on the planet.  If we get a major hurricane hit, we could lose our harbors, our airports, our entire ability to bring in supplies and relief personnel.  So, we need to be cognizant of that fact & prepare for that eventuality".

I mentioned, "And one of the items we always forget: Cash, cash, cash".

"Yeah", Cummings answered, "It's good to have.  If we lose electricity we can't go to the ATM.  So, we say you should have on hand as much cash as you'd normally use in maybe a week.  Or 5-7 days."

"Important to have the family plan.  Know what you're going to do.  If the call comes or you get word.  And you're in the middle of work or picking the kids up from school, and having that secondary contact" this reporter explained.

Cummings elaborated, "Yeah, if we lose electricity, we lose our phones and our cell phones.  Secondary meeting place & an off island contact is going to make your life a whole lot easier after disaster strikes".
 
 
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