By: Ian Scheuring
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – With the anniversary of the devastating Japan tsunami just over a month away, a California company with local ties is making it easier to prepare for another potentially catastrophic natural disaster.
Be Ready Incorporated specializes in disaster preparedness and works to provide tools and information to families and businesses to help them stay safe and healthy during natural disasters. The company was founded in California more than 20 years ago.
Their new retail store, located in Waipio, opened on Wednesday and sells all of the essential disaster relief items, including water filtration and storage systems and first aid kits.
The store also sells specialty products like WaterBricks, food and water storage devices that resemble oversized Lego blocks and can be used to construct transitional shelters in case of an emergency.
The company's owner, Al Cabacungan, opened his first disaster preparedness store in Oceanside, California more than twenty years ago. He stresses that waiting too long to prepare for an emergency situation can prove to be a critical error.
"Our main thing is not to worry when the sirens go off, when everyone can rush to the [Be Ready Hawaii] store, to Home Depot or Costco or whatever," Cabacungan said. "Our thing is to prepare you and everyone else a little at a time, so when that when the sirens do go off, you're ready."
Cabacungan is a Native Hawaiian who was born in Hawaii before moving to California. With family still residing in the islands, Cabacungan wanted to help make sure they were taken care of in case of an emergency.
"I just don't want to worry about my family, my people, when the sirens go off," Cabacungan said. "I want to know that they're okay."
When Hurricane Iniki struck the Hawaiian Islands in 1992, Cabacungan brought supplies from his Oceanside store to Hawaii to assist in the relief effort.
The company says they also plan on working with organizations like the Red Cross, State Civil Defense and the Department of Emergency Management to provide training videos and disaster relief information to the general public.
For more information, visit http://www.bereadyinchawaii.com.