State and counties roll out new item for people with emergency preparedness kits
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, along all counties across the state are giving out free collapsible water jugs. It's something new for people with emergency disaster kits.
"Water is one of the most important commodities we need and it might be one of the first things we lose," Kevin Richards, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said.
When it's full, it holds 2.5 gallons of water and weighs about 20 pounds. The city and state encourage the elderly and people with disabilities to get one to make sure they have fresh water in case of an emergency.
"During a disaster, having enough clean drinking water is essential for people to survive, "Ernest Lau, Honolulu Board of Water Supply, said.
The jugs were purchased using a $30,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Simple instructions are printed on 25,000 of them, available across the state and nearly 1,700 have already been distributed through local non-profits like Lanakila Pacific.
"Our part would be to get them to the seniors and people with disabilities who are not able to leave their homes to purchase water during a disaster or before a disaster. Also teach them how to fill it, what to do and make sure they're using this tool to be prepared," Rona Fukumoto, Lanakila Pacific, said.
The Board of Water Supply is also thinking about giving jugs away at water main breaks so families can have a clean water storage.
"Turning times on people who don't have a clean container to store water, these are perfect," Lau said.
The hurricane season ends on November 30. In case of an emergency, BWS recommends everyone have a gallon of water per-day stored for a minimum of 14 days.
If you'd like to get a free jug, it's distributed at disaster preparedness fairs across the state. You can also buy a generic collapsible container online.