Disaster preparedness event pushes actual preparation

Disaster preparedness event pushes actual preparation

AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - This has been a very busy hurricane season for far in the North Pacific, but it's not the only disaster that Ready 2 React managers want you to prepare for.

Ready 2 React is a disaster preparedness event that's now in its third year at Pearlridge Center. It has drawn dozens of city, state, federal and private agencies, all with the aim of making the public more prepared in advance for any disaster.

It's something officials said Hawaii residents are already good at doing.

"According to one national citizens survey, we have some of the highest disaster preparedness knowledge as far as the common citizen goes, knowing what to do during a disaster, and knowing how to be prepared," said Peter Hirai, deputy director of the city's Department of Emergency Management.

The event is also promoted as the largest gathering of emergency vehicles and equipment, allowing families -- and especially kids -- to get an up-close, hands-on experience. After all, how often to kids get a chance to operate a remote-controlled Army robot? Or climb simulated palm trees?

"I got to climb the palm trees," said Samuel Ahue, a Waianae High School student. "I fell off the first time and got kind of scared, so I claimed it again anyway."

"It's good to have this around in the community, so people know what's available, what emergency vehicles can be utilized at a time," said Ewa resident Sean Bolosan.

Hurricanes are at the forefront, but officials also wanted residents to be prepared for other possible natural disasters, such as high surf or tsunamis, which have devastated the islands in the past.

While Hawaii rates high in disaster preparedness knowledge, "The next step to do is they actually have to do the preparedness," said Hirai. "They need to buy the canned food, the water, and have everything stored up and prepared."

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