Emergency Preparedness

In the event of an emergency...

  • Stay tuned to a local radio or TV station for official weather and civil defense instructions.
  • Secure your home. Lock doors and windows. Know where to locate electrical, water, and gas service sources if advised to turn off utilities. Secure or store objects that may cause damage or injury.

Emergency Preparedness

Why Prepare For a Disaster?

Every day , millions of people wake up, go to school, go to work, take kids to school, farm their land or go to ball games. But every so often the unexpected happens: an earthquake, a fire, a chemical spill or some other emergency. Routines are changed drastically, people are suddenly aware of how fragile their lives can be.

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year and each disaster has lasting effects-people are seriously injured, sometimes killed, and property damage runs into the billions of dollars.

If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations Will try to help you. But you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately after a disaster or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. Families and individuals who prepare can reduce the fear, anxiety and losses that surround disaster. They know what to do in a fire an where to seek shelter in a tornado. They can be ready to evacuate their homes, make their stays in public shelters more comfortable and know how to care for their basic medical needs.

People can also reduce the impact of disaster (flood proofing or elevating a home, securing items that could shake loose in an earth quake) and sometimes avoid the danger altogether.

You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area-hurricanes, earthquakes, lighting, extreme cold or flooding. You should also be ready to be self sufficient for at least 7 days. This may mean providing for y our own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanitation. This guide can help. It was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the agency responsible for responding to natural disasters and for helping the state and local governments and individuals prepare for emergencies. It contains step-by-step advice on how to prepare for and how t respond to disasters.

When A Disaster Strikes...


  • Prepare a home survival kit ready for use in emergencies.
  • Include basic first aid supplies and prescriptions (check with family physician)
  • Stock nonperishable food items for at least a 14 day supply for the entire household. Don't forget pets.
  • Plan in advance where to locate household members in case they are separated.
  • Store important papers and valuables in waterproof packaging where they can be easily reached if you plan to take these items with you.
  • keep the car gas tank at least 3/4 full.


  • Use the telephone - Leave lines open for emergency calls only. Overloading circuits slows down the entire phone system.
  • Touch downed power lines or objects in contact. Severe shock or worse can result. Always assume that power lines are live.
  • Use Elevators - Power outages shut down elevator systems, often trapping occupants. Use stairways instead.
  • Go sightseeing - Cooperate with local officials. For your own safety, never enter high risk areas.
  • Spread rumors - Get the facts from official sources.

Home Emergency Kit Checklist

  • Portable radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Battery powered lantern(s)
  • Matches
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications
  • Ice chest
  • Containers of water
    (minimum 1 gallon per person per day)
  • 14-day non-perishable food supply
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Personal toilet articles & sanitary needs
  • Change of clothing for each household member
  • Fuel for stoves, hibachis, and lanterns
  • Cash (in small bills)
  • Extra pet food

Prepare A Business For Tsunami

The following document was developed as part of a collaboration between the Pacific Tsunami Museum and the County of Hawaii Planning Department:

A guide for businesses in the Hawaiian Islands