Fair Helps Ewa ‘Get Ready’ For Disasters

People can learn to successfully weather a storm at Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Committee’s Emergency Preparedness Fair.

Set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at Ewa Makai Middle School, the fair now is in its third year.

“The idea started … following the Japan tsunami and the power outage in March 2011,” explained Donald Harlor, chairman of Ewa EPC. “It was recognized that the community wanted more information on preparing for disasters.”

After a town hall meeting led by City Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine, the first “Get Ready Ewa Beach Preparedness Fair” was launched.

“Preparedness is an individual responsibility,” said Harlor. “After a major disaster, you may have to care (for) yourself and family for several days before you get assistance.

“This event will give attendees the tools to put their plan and kits together.”

The theme for this year’s fair is KIT (Keep It Together). Attendees will be educated on materials they should have in their evacuation and “shelter-in-place” kits during an emergency. According to Harlor, shelter-in-place kits can be used in the event individuals and families are ordered to remain indoors during an emergency; they are intended to aid survival over a longer period of time.

“After this last year of outreach, seminars and training sessions, we discovered that many people still don’t have the basic necessary supplies for their evacuation or shelter-in-place kit,” said Harlor.

To remedy this, the fair will distribute items that can be used in emergency kits.

Materials for the kits come from fair sponsors AlternateEnergy, Target, D.R. Horton, HECO, Pali Momi Medical Center, Carmel Partners, The Waterfront at Pu’uloa, Haseko, Safeway and City Mill.

In addition to learning about emergency kits, participants at this free event also can expect to learn hands-only CPR, types of disasters to expect while living in Hawaii, insurance for recovery, preparedness projects and more. The school also will sell food as a fundraiser during the fair.

“A disaster can happen at any time with little-to-no notice,” noted Harlor. “Additionally, emergency responders and government aid workers may not be able to get to everyone who needs help because of damaged roads, downed power lines and debris lying around.

“This is why it’s so important that people know how to prepare and survive.”

Ewa EPC is a volunteer committee that works to make the Ewa Beach area a “StormReady” and “TsunamiReady” community.

“Everyone can survive a natural disaster if they only take the time to prepare, plan and take appropriate and immediate action when the disaster strikes,” Harlor said.

The preparedness fair welcomes everyone from across Oahu.

For more information, call Ewa EPC at 682-0111 or email getreadyewabeach@gmail.com.