Supplies stockpiled to help in an emergency like Ebola - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Supplies stockpiled to help in an emergency like Ebola

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is considered low risk for an Ebola outbreak, but that doesn't mean the state isn't ready to respond if there was a disaster.

From stretchers to breathing equipment to body bags there is a warehouse in Halawa that has plenty of disaster supplies.

"These are our stretchers with a trauma bag so something that involved trauma these are the bags we would grab," said Chris Crabtree, DRPH, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Program Development Manager, as he showed us around the facility.

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii started stockpiling the resources after 9/11, then there was Sars and bioterrorism threats and now Ebola. They would be ready to respond to it all.

"It's like insurance, a lot of people don't really care until something happens and then they're very glad we're here," said Crabtree.

The Association is made up of 130 members, including all the hospitals in the state.  It's important because being in Hawaii, thousands of miles from the mainland it could be 96 hours before they get federal help.

"We're kind of on our own out here, if we come together as one coalition we can share our resources and assist one another should something happen," said Crabtree.

Something including Ebola.

"We typically would use this like in the Ebola case, for example if someone came in on an airplane and identified as a potential Ebola case," said Crabtree, as he showed us an isolation tube.

Their strike team can respond in 2 to 4 hours. There is also cache of equipment on most islands.  While they hope to never need it the Healthcare Association feels better it's there.

"If something were to happen we need to be ready to respond quickly and effectively," said Crabtree.

There is also a warehouse in Waikele full of supplies and equipment.  The Association also coordinates response with the government.

Also today the State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park sent a medical advisory to all the doctors in the state making sure everyone is on the same page when evaluating patients for Ebola. To read the letter click here.

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