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Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Hurricane Felicia is bearing down hard towards the Hawaiian Islands. As Hurricane Felicia heads towards Tropical Storm Enrique it is gathering speed and strength. As of 8PM PST on August 5th, Hurricane Felicia has been upgraded to a Catagory 4 Hurricane with wind gusts sustained at up to 140 mph.

The American Red Cross in Hawaii is already preparing with warnings and instructions on what to do in the case Hurricane Felicia hits Hawaii this weekend. The key phrase being echoed everywhere is to be prepared for the potential of disaster.


If you evacuate to a hurricane evacuation shelter, there most likely will be no amenities. This means no food service, established sleeping areas or supplies. Hurricane evacuation shelters provide safe shelter to ride out the storm and may be limited to standing room only. It is critical that everyone take the time now to follow these steps to prepare.

1. Assemble a Family Disaster Supplies Kit

When a disaster strikes your community, you may not have access to food, water, electricity and other essential supplies for days, or even weeks. A disaster supplies kit should include nonperishable food and bottled water (one gallon per person per day) for a minimum of five to seven days, nonelectric can opener, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, tools, extra clothing and bedding, prescription and nonprescription medications, pet supplies, cash, sanitary supplies, copies of important papers, contact information, maps and other special items for infants, pets, and elderly or disabled family members. This kit should be in an easy-to move container so that it can be used at home or taken with you in the event you must evacuate.

2. Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan

Disasters often strike quickly and without warning and, when they do, often leave a wake of chaos and emotional trauma. People should determine their actions before a disaster occurs. Planning ahead of time makes it easier to make decisions in a potentially stressful time and helps to know what to do if separated from others in the household. Families can — and do — cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. They do this by deciding in advance what they will do when their daily routines are disrupted by an emergency. Planning what each person is to do, where each will go, and how they will get there makes a big difference. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose two places—one place within your neighborhood and one outside of your neighborhood, maybe a friend's home. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. In case you have to evacuate to a Red Cross shelter, be sure to bring your family disaster supplies kit along with bedding. Be sure to also make advance preparations for your pets and people with special health needs like children, frail, elderly and people with disabilities.

3. Be Informed

It is important that people learn about what disasters or emergencies may occur where they live, work and play. Learning vital lifesaving skills such as First Aid and CPR/AED can help people take care of their loved ones after a disaster occurs and can equip them to become resources to their communities. We also encourage people who are interested in helping out during a disaster to take free disaster training from the Red Cross and find out how you can help with sheltering, mass feeding, health services, crisis counseling and client casework.

More details are available at www.hawaiiredcross.org. A variety of ready-made disaster kits are available for purchase and a schedule of lifesaving classes are online.

As Hurricane Felicia progresses, stay tuned to the HTBW Hurricane Tracker blog for updates and live webcam views of the effected area's. We have already compiled a number of Hurricane Felicia Web Camera's on the Hawaiian Islands. We will strive to keep you informed as much as technology will allow.


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