Over Friday and Saturday, 226 people stayed overnight in Big Island shelters and 43 people overnighted in Maui shelters. Red Cross opened seven shelters on Oahu at 7am today. All Big Island shelters closed as of 8am today.
The following Red Cross and respective county evacuation shelter sites are currently open to the public in response to Tropical Storm Darby (please listen to the radio or local media for any changes and further updates):
Ewa Community Park
McKinley High School
Waialua District Park
Waianae District Park
Waimanalo District Park
Wahiawa District Park
Hana High & Elementary
Eddie Tam Memorial Center
Maui High School
Lahainaluna High School
Due to Hawaii’s isolation and vulnerability, the Red Cross recommends that people prepare their emergency kits for seven days and bring their emergency supplies with them to shelters. Airports and ports may be damaged by the storm and slow down the resupply process for local stores.
The Red Cross encourages everyone to be prepared before disasters strike: Get a disaster kit, make a plan and be informed. Full details about what the kit should contain are available at www.redcross.org/hawaii (see Programs and Services/Disaster Preparedness).
Prepare for flooding. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there. Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. For more flood safety tips: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood#/Prepare
Returning home after the storm. The Red Cross advises that people should return home only when officials say it is safe. Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates and stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding. Follow these tips when returning home, especially if you experienced flooding:
- Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- If possible, leave children and pets with a relative or friend. If not, keep them away from hazards and floodwater.
- Beware of rodents, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
- Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage. It may be too dangerous to enter the home.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury
- Smell for gas. If you smell natural gas or propane, or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department.
- If your home was flooded, assume it is contaminated with mold. Mold increases health risks for those with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions.
- Open doors and windows. Let the house air out before staying inside for any length of time if the house was closed for more than 48 hours.
- Turn the main electrical power and water systems off until you or a professional can ensure that they are safe. NEVER turn the power on or off, or use and electrical tool or appliance while standing in water.
- Check the ceiling and floor for signs of sagging. Water may be trapped in the ceiling or floors may be unsafe to walk on.
Download free Red Cross Mobile Apps. The Red Cross urges residents to download the free all-in-one Red Cross Emergency app that includes over 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, maps to find the nearest open shelter, step-by-step instructions on what to do before, during, and after a disaster strikes, and lifesaving first aid instructions, diagrams, and videos on what to do for 20 emergencies like heart attack, stroke, bleeding, choking, head injuries, burns, broken bones, asthma attack, diabetic emergency, heat stroke, seizure, poisoning, bee stings, allergies, and unconsciousness. There is even a one touch “I’m safe” button that allows you to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that you are out of harm’s way.
Pets are also affected by disaster and rely on your help during emergencies. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid app puts veterinary advice for everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand. Get simple step-by-step instructions with videos on what to do for poisoning, bleeding, choking, and dozens of other emergencies, as well as what to do in disaster situations. Having this app could be critical to your pet’s survival in any emergency situation. Download these apps at the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace or by visiting redcross.org/apps.
How to Help. The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world. To send a contribution, mail your check to American Red Cross, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 or make a secure online donation at redcross.org/hawaii or call (808) 739-8109.
For more updates, follow the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @HawaiiRedCross. You can also contact the Hawaii Chapter at 808-734-2101 or visit redcross.org/hawaii.