Aloha Friends, Family, and Neighbors!
Living in the northern part of Oahu is a little more remote than other places on the island. Access to basic needs such as food, water, and medication may be more difficult should a disaster occur. With this thought in mind, “pray for the best, but prepare for the worst,” future preparation is critical. Since Saturday’s missile inbound false alarm, the legislature has held hearings to work to make sure something like this will never happen again. This mistake is not acceptable, and it discredits the hard work that the Emergency Management Agency has put in to make sure that Hawaii residents and tourists are able to stay up-to-date on possible disasters. As I look at the events that took place and what my family did, I realize this is an opportunity to have a conversation with my family and talk about what we could have done and should do in the future to improve our odds and reduce potential injuries. Having spent a lot of time researching nuclear disaster emergency protocol, I realize that emergency responders and local officials will not be able to reach everyone immediately.
Help could take hours, days, or even a week. Members of the community need to prepare in advance. I know many people were anxious, not knowing what to do; and after the false alarm was sent, many people became angry and fearful. This incident, though, serves as a reminder that there are things that we can do to keep our families safe. Information is out there!
A few key things I found:
• Always have at least $200 dollars cash on hand, as ATMs are first to run out of money.
• Have an emergency water supply of at least one gallon per person. Potable Aqua tablets make questionable water suitable to drink (these are cheap and can be ordered from Amazon).
• Have extra medication on hand for times when disaster strikes and you can’t leave your home to refill your prescription. Remember to also store over-thecounter medication like painkillers, antihistamines, calamine lotion, Alka-Seltzer, laxatives, anti-diarrhea medication, sterile eyewash, and contact lenses (if you use them).
• Have driver’s license, passport, social security card, family records (will, insurance policies, deeds), bank account numbers, and a list of important and emergency phone numbers handy.
• Pet owners, don’t forget your pet’s needs! Most boarding kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Stock up on food, water, medication, and familiar items, such as treats and toys to help reduce stress for your pet. The following links may be helpful in preparing for any type of disaster.
Get the Apps & Prepare HNN (Hawaii News Now) – Real-time, breaking news alerts FEMA – Alerts, Tips, and more American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/gethelp/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies#About Stay Informed! Visit these sites: Make a Family Emergency Plan https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan Stay Informed / Nuclear Blast https://www.ready.gov/nuclear-blast Hawaii Emergency Management Agency http://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/ Hawaii Dept. of Defense Nuclear Guidance https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/files/2017/07/ HI-EMA-guidance-analysis-nuclear-detonationJUN-2017-1.pdf Communicating with your children: Sesame Street Emergency Preparation Tool Kit https://www.sesamestreet.org/toolkits/ready As always, please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns about any happenings in our community. Call me at (808) 586-9490, email RepMatsumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov, or visit RepMatsumoto.com.