Kids Get Ready for the Unexpected

Katelyn Sakaki
Katelyn Sakaki

by: Diane Ako

KALIHI (KHNL)- Almost two dozen children and their families will be better prepared the next time a disaster hits Hawaii. The fourth graders from Kapalama School were part of a workshop put on by the State Civil Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross today.

The October quake rattled not only the state, but also some of its youngest residents. Katelyn Sakaki admits she wanted to cry that morning. "It was scary. I was home in my bed. I just woke up then the house was shaking and toys were falling on the shelves."

Jaron Raquel was also nervous. "When you wake up and feel the house shaking, it's like the house is going to fall."

That's why emergency officials wanted to target school children, in a new program designed to teach them how to better prepare for emergencies. They met at Bishop Museum to show kids a variety of exercises, like a telephone exercise which shows kids how to communicate during a big power outage. The kids learned why it's important to prepare disaster kits, and what to stock them with.

Vice Director of State Civil Defense Ed Teixeira says, "The earlier we can get school children to know about their environment here in Hawaii the better we can prepare them for the rest of their life in Hawaii."

Teachers say it's one lesson they hope the kids won't have to use, but talk to these students today and it sounds like they're ready! Jaron learned "you need to prepare for disasters because if you don't have a kit you could step on glass." Katelyn says she now know "what you need to do when there's something happening and you don't expect it to happen."

This program is based on the Department of Homeland Security's "Ready Kids" campaign.