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Be ready for eruptions and earthquakes; tips for no-notice emergencies

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Two American Red Cross shelters are open for residents who evacuated their homes due to the Kilauea lava threat:

  • Pahoa Community Center (15-3022 Kauhale Street, Pāhoa, HI 96778)
  • Keaau Community Center (16-186 Pili Mua St, Keaau, HI 96749)

Volunteers with the American Red Cross have been working to assist all evacuees with their immediate emergency needs, including distributing comfort kits (toiletries), towels, blankets, and snacks, and offering mental health and health services.

Evacuating residents are urged to bring an emergency supply kit that includes necessary medicine, food, and comfort items. Don't forget pet and animal care plans, and elder or childcare items.

The need for a supply kit was a key point in a special KHON2 produced earlier this year called Ready for Disaster. We revisit the key takeaways for these no-notice emergencies.

If you have already built your emergency supply kit, think about keeping as much of it in your car as possible, as evacuations are very likely especially in the volcano fissure areas.

Have non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. If possible, also have eye protection like a pair of goggles, even disposable breathing masks if possible, for each member of the family.

The American Red Cross suggests the following:

  • Water - 1 gallon per person per day
  • Food - non-perishable
  • Flashlight
  • Radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications and medical items
  • Manual can opener
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Copies of documents (prescriptions, proof of address, deed/lease to home, insurance policies and proof of identity
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family contact Information
  • Cash
  • Bedding
  • Change of clothes
  • Towels
  • Dishes

You may also need:

  • Baby supplies - bottles, baby food & diapers
  • Games and activities
  • Comfort items
  • Pet supplies - collar, leash, ID, food, water, carrier, bowl, medications

Refresh with your ohana or make a family emergency plan, know how you will contact each other if separated, and have an off-island relay contact too.

If there are evacuations, follow the orders, watch out for flying debris, hot gases; lateral lava, rock and debris blast; and lava flow. Turn off your power and gas and unplug appliances before you go.

If you are unable to evacuate, stay indoors, protect yourself from falling ash and close the windows, and use that eye protection and breathing mask or a damp rag over your nose and mouth to help filter the air.

With all the earthquake swarms, locate the safest room in your house or workplace, or be ready to take cover under a desk or table worst case. Stay indoors until the shaking stops. Stay away from windows.

If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. drop to the ground. If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place. Stay in the car until the shaking has stopped and it's safe to continue driving.

Get more disaster tips from:

How to provide for your pets during an emergency

All pet owners are urged to be prepared and incorporate animals into their emergency plans.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society offers the following guidelines in light of the mandatory evacuation in effect in Leilani Estates on Hawaii island.

Do not leave animals behind. Develop your plan now for their ongoing care, including transportation requirements.

Reach out to family and friends to discuss arrangements in the event of evacuation. If you need to organize boarding elsewhere, get in touch with a boarding facility for advance arrangements.

Make sure the evacuation shelter is pet-friendly.

Larger animals, including horses and livestock, may need to be moved well in advance. Call friends or family members to locate alternate pastures.

Gather items for your pet’s emergency kit, including:

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Towel
  • Identification
  • Medication (if applicable)

The HIHS Keaau shelter does not board animals. Do not drop off animals there.

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