By Nakoa Nunies | Staff Writer
Are you ready for an emergency? It’s that time of year again when we’re on the lookout for hurricanes on the horizon. I grew up here in Hawai‘i and had my fair share of experiences with hurricanes. Fortunately, advances in technology make it easier to alert us when a possible threat arrives. Thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we have more time to prepare for everything we need to keep us and our ‘ohana safe. A natural disaster could occur at any given moment, but do you know what you need in the case of a hurricane?
Probably one of the most obvious needs is water, right. Everyone in your household should have at least a gallon per day of drinking water. Normally a healthy and active individual would drink up to two quarts of water per day. A lot of times during a crisis we consume close to a gallon of water. You should also take into account the amount of water you would also need for other necessities, like brushing your teeth or washing your hands. It’s also important to store your water in unbreakable containers. The best thing to buy would most likely be a case or cases of bottled water. And don’t worry if you can’t make it to the store in time, empty milk jugs or plastic containers work fine.
Obviously, you would also want to food, each person will need at least 3-7 day worth of food. Frozen foods and fresh foods are not ideal because it spoils if not frozen or refrigerated. I don’t know about you guys but I cannot eat food if it’s spoiled. It’s handy to have a backup supply of non-Perishables these types of foods include, canned foods, Bags of rice, Boxes of cereal, Instant Ramen, and Dried fruits. It is also a good idea to carry to have high energy foods like crackers, granola bars, and trail mix. In a scary situation, I like to keep a stash of comfort foods like cookies, hard candies,chips, instant coffees, or bags of tea. Something to take your mind of the current issue. I always buy these items in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco rather than buying individually from Walmart or longs.
An emergency situation often calls for a first-aid kit in case somebody gets hurt. Inside your kit, you wanna carry bandages and sterile gauze of various shapes and sizes as well as waterless alcohol-based sanitizers or germicidal hand wipes. Antiseptic sprays, as well as antibacterial ointments, are also essential to have in a first aid kit, to sterilize and protect your bumps and bruises. It’s also a good idea to store all prescription and nonprescription drugs inside also so you can grab your kit to go if needed, this includes Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Epipens, and Inhalers. Instant cold packs are also optimal to have in case the power goes out and your freezers not working.
Growing up parents always told me that we should charge up our devices before a big hurricane or a storm. In the case of a power outage, we needed to keep ourselves connected. For the little kids, that meant keeping themselves entertained during a blackout. But now that I’m older I understand that you also need to stay connected to loved ones and friends during an emergency situation. Nowadays the world basically revolves around technology, that’s how you’re gonna get updates about the hurricane, or what kind of damage it did to our neighboring islands. Not just our own for entertainment but also for the purpose of information. A good tip is to carry portable chargers in case your phone dies during an emergency. It’s also ideal to have a hand cranked radio for emergency updates in case your phone does die and you don’t have a backup source of power.
This is one of the less thought about things during a crisis is sanitization. Main ones like personal hygiene products are what comes to mind when I think sanitization products. But nobody ever thinks about how you’re going to shower or brush your teeth if the water supply is compromised. You are more than likely to store extra water for in plastic containers and pour it over yourself with a cup. A major overlooked topic is a toilet, in the case that the storm affects plumbing and water how do you use the bathroom. Now, this may sound disgusting but your best option is a bucket. And I know what you’re all thinking, that’s gross. But what are you gonna do if you can’t flush your toilet?
Have a plan
Part of being prepared for an emergency situation always having a plan for when the storm hits. If you have a porch or a patio you should bring furniture or small items in the house. If you can’t bring your furniture in the house, you should tie it down with rope. It’s also important to protect your windows and jealousies. During a hurricane, high winds can blow around small items and furniture outside of your house and sometimes these items break windows and leave shards of glass everywhere. That’s not always an easy thing to clean up. If possible you should board up your windows with plywood, or you could always cover parts of your window with painters tape or if possible window tint. This won’t stops the glass from breaking but it will help to contain the pieces of broken glass. Do this well before the hurricane will impact, even a day ahead in case it arrives earlier than expected.
Being ready for a natural disaster is important because you never know when one is going to occur. My whole life I’ve been fortunate enough to have had time to prepare for a hurricane. Thanks to today’s technology, it allows us to stay ahead of any potential natural disasters. It gives us the opportunity to plan for an emergency situation. Every day people lose their lives and homes to natural disasters. Having a chance to get ready for one is a convenience that not a lot of people have. We should not take it for granted.