With the start of hurricane season, agencies prepare for potential evacuation

Published  4:25 PM HST Jun 01, 2013
NANAKULI, Hawaii -

With the start of hurricane season agencies prepare for a potential evacuation. It's been about a decade since hurricane Iniki hit Hawaii. Officials want to be ready just in case a large natural disaster like that strikes the islands again. The statewide community-based hurricane preparedness exercise brought together state and federal agencies as well as nonprofits. It's practice to see if the state is equipped to handle hundreds of thousands of people who would need shelter and evacuation assistance.

"People have to realize that here in Hawaii we are very isolated. It takes a long time on a normal basis to get things here," said John Cummings of the Department of Emergency Management.

So experts said that means being prepared without a lot of support. They said residents need to help themselves, and should only expect a big room for shelter. Everything else such as emergency kits should be brought.

Officials said what's crucial for people to have is a weeks worth of disaster supplies, which includes food, water and clothing.

"A lot of people need to take responsibility rather than depend on the government to be able to help them. They themselves need to take responsibility," said Allen Cardines, Pastor at Hope Chapel Nanakuli.

And people like Lynelle Yrojo. She always has her furry family member, Guiness, by her side. They are happy to learn that pets will have a place to stay safe during a catastrophic event. The humane society said no pets will be turned away.

"If I leave me house, where ever I go I'm going to stay with my dogs," said Yrojo.

"God forbid there's a hurricane and you are at home with your pet, neither of you are going to be safe. So, it's really important that everyone leaves together and have all supplies ready to go at a moments notice," said Natalie Lukashevsky with the Hawaiian Humane Society.

And they said have a plan, pick two places to meet your loved ones to find safe shelter. The statewide evacuation exercises will continue throughout the week.

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