New guidelines for emergency kits mean you probably have to do some shopping

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - During recent hurricanes, emergency officials recommended that Hawaii residents keep a seven-day supply of food, water and other essentials.

But Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said past mainland disasters such as hurricanes Sandy and Katrina have shown that residents may be cut off for a more extended period of time.

That's why his agency is asking people to keep a two-week supply in their emergency kits.

"It will take a longer time to get everything back, back in operations again … a longer time than just seven days," he said.

Added John Cummings, spokesman for the city Department of Emergency Management, "Given the circumstances now with our ever expanding population -- more people on the island and limited resources -- we really need to ask folks about what they can do to take care of themselves for at least two weeks."

Officials are recommending that people have a 14-day supply of water, canned and prepared foods, toilet paper and other essentials. They also recommend residents have an ample amount of cash and gasoline in their cars.

Hawaii News Now spoke to several people shopping at the Hawaii Kai Costco who said they don't keep anywhere near a two-week supply in their homes.

"I'm not prepared at all. That's why I'm here," said Michele Muller, of Hawaii Kai.

Added Kaneohe resident Patty Mercado: "I keep saying I'm going to get prepared. I put it off. I'm going to try to do that today."

Emergency officials say it's better to be safe than sorry.

"We got close calls with (hurricanes) Iselle, Darby. It's going to happen one day. You just have to be ready for it," said Miyagi.

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