After Maui wildfires, how to prepare for disaster evacuations

Local News

Over a thousand people checked into shelters in Maui Thursday night.

People brought pillows, blankets and food and water.

Coralie Matayoshi, American Red Cross Pacific Division CEO, said it’s important to get all these things ready beforehand so you don’t end up rushing and forgetting something you need.

“There’s not going to be anything there at the shelter. It’s just a place to hunker down so you’re not going to see cots or anything during that time,” said Coralie Matayoshi.

She says to have your disaster kit with a 14-day supply of the items you need ready, but also have other emergency plans in place.

“Sometimes you can’t bring the two weeks of supply if it’s a brush fire or something, but if you have a go bag that you can just take, at least you have your essentials like medicine and whatever you need at the moment,” said Matayoshi.

She says some of the items to have in your go bag are:

  • Water
  • Canned goods
  • Tooth brush and toiletries
  • Extra clothes
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Radio and batteries
  • Copy of important documents

“You should just have all the copies of your documents ready to go,” said Matayoshi.

She says to be sure to also pack other items unique to your situation as well such as,

  • Prescription medication
  • Baby formula and diapers
  • Pet food and litter

Matayoshi said she has a to go kit in her car, and in her office in case she needs to evacuate straight from work.

“You can wait, but there may not be anything in the stores. You’ve seen the shelves empty, so you need to prepare now for any event whether its a hurricane or tsunami or a wildfre,” said Matayoshi.

Another thing you want to do is stay informed of the latest news. each county also has it’s own emergency alert system that you can sign up for. On Oahu it’s the HNL Info app.

Another good resource is the Red Cross app, which can show you in real time, what shelters are available and open.

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