Ewa Fair Helps You ‘Get Ready’

Learning from their own experiences with a power outage following a storm in 2011, Ewa residents have been helping others prepare for the worst with their annual Get Ready Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Fair.

The event, put on by Ewa Emergency Preparedness Committee, returns from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 6 at Ewa Makai Middle School with the theme, “Do You Know Where To Go For Shelter?” And if your answer is no to that question, the committee will make sure to change that.

“No better time to start to prepare than now,” declared Kau’i Alapa, a volunteer coordinator with Ewa EPC.

Attendees will learn how to determine if they should shelter in place or evacuate to a public shelter during an emergency, the different types of shelters that are available, and where to head during various kinds of disasters. The fair also will feature a scaled-down version of what a shelter will look like.

“Such knowledge will mitigate unnecessary purchases of emergency supply goods because where you’ll stay determines what you should have supplied,” explained Alapa.

“Walking through our fair’s shelter will give participants a reality check to be fully prepared.”

In addition to shelter information, the fair also will have a number of vendors who can help you get ready. The list includes the city Department of Emergency Management, Ewa Beach Fire Department, state departments of Transportation and Health, and American Red Cross.

Honolulu Police Department employees also will be on hand to create keiki IDs.

But the fair isn’t all serious business. There also will be a scavenger hunt and live entertainment.

Fair organizers said that, given the recent storms and their impact on Hawaii island, residents should feel especially compelled to make sure they’re prepared. As is the case on Puna, Alapa said, getting everything back to normal (including power) could take a few weeks.

“If you have no supplies,” she pointed out, “(the fair) is a great way to start.”

Various groups will attend to hand out $10,000 worth of preparedness supplies.

In anticipation of the event, Ewa EPC shared a few tips on how to prepare:

1) It’s never too late to start. Begin simply by checking out government resources, such as the Emergency Management Department, for time-saving tips and recommendations on how to get and stay prepared with plans and supplies.

2) Know where to move for shelter, according to the type of disaster. During tsunamis, for example, it’s best to head to tall buildings or go up a mountain. In hurricanes, meanwhile, it’s better to hide out in a shelter.

3) Coordinate a disaster plan with your neighbors. This way, you will have access to more resources than you would with one individual or family going it alone.