Red Cross Prepares to Help in Hawaii as Hurricane Nears

woman and man inside ERV
People should get ready now.

Two storms are headed for the Hawaiian Islands and the American Red Cross is getting prepared to help those in the path of the storms while continuing to assist people affected by the wildfires in Washington, California and Oregon.

Hurricane Iselle is set to make landfall in Hawaii tomorrow and weather experts say the storm could bring heavy rain, ocean swells and mudslides to the islands. Tropical Storm Julio is also headed in Hawaii’s direction and could make landfall Sunday.

The Hawaii State Red Cross chapter has been preparing to respond all week with disaster workers standing by to help and shelter locations identified. There are as many as 1,500 trained disaster workers on the islands.

The Red Cross is urging residents to get ready now and build disaster kits in case they have to evacuate. 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.

STAY INFORMED People in Hawaii should listen to local media for the latest storm updates. They can also download the Red Cross Hurricane App to monitor weather conditions, get the location of shelters and use the “I’m safe” button to let others know they are safe even if the power is out. They should also download the Red Cross First Aid App which puts advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. Both apps are available for iPhone and Android devices.

WILDFIRES Wildfires are still burning in several western states and the Red Cross is helping people affected, making sure they have a safe place to stay and food to eat.

The fires have consumed hundreds of thousands of acres across Washington, Oregon, and California this summer and officials have mandatory and voluntary evacuations in place. The Red Cross has shelters and evacuation centers open with more shelters, supplies and workers standing by if needed.

If someone is living in an area where wildfires are a threat, they should be ready to evacuate quickly by backing the car into the garage or parking it out in the open facing the direction needed to escape. They can also download the free Red Cross Wildfire App for preloaded content that lets users know what they should do before, during and after a wildfire.

Other safety steps include the following:

  • Make sure the entrance to the driveway and house number is clearly marked and plan two ways to get out of the neighborhood in case one is blocked.
  • If you have pets, keep them in one room so you know where they are if you have to evacuate.
  • Clean your roof and gutter.
  • Identify and maintain a water source outside your home such as a small pond, well or swimming pool.
  • Have items on hand that can be used as fire tools such as a rake, axe, hand saw or chain saw, bucket and shovel.
  • Select a place for members of your household to meet away from the house in case you can’t get home or are ordered to evacuate.
  • HOW YOU CAN HELP A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help people affected by hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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