Disaster preparedness expo set for Saturday

Workshops and displays on home emergency and disaster preparedness are part of the Maui County Disaster Preparedness Expo, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.

Presenters include Mike Cantin of the National Weather Service on “Hurricanes in Hawaii”; Dennis Hwang of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program on “Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards”; Tim Waite of Simpson Strong Tie on “Strengthening your Home”; Dr. Lorrin Pang of the state Department of Health on “Outbreaks in Shelters”; and Anna Foust of the Maui Civil Defense Agency on “Practical Steps to Readiness: What You Can Do Right Now.”

Workshops will be presented on the second level next to Regis Salon. The “Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards” will be available at no cost to workshop attendees.

Exhibits and displays may be found on the center court on the first floor. A display showing the actual size of a shelter space will be on the stage, presented by the American Red Cross.

Other exhibitors include the Civil Air Patrol, Community Emergency Response Teams, county Office on Aging, Fire Department, Maui Humane Society, Maui Police Department Neighborhood Watch, Pacific Disaster Center, Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui, Maui County Health Volunteers and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.

The Maui Civil Defense Agency is hosting the event.

Last week, the American Red Cross urged Hawaii residents to prepare for the hurricane storm season that officially begins Sunday and runs through Nov. 30.

“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said Coralie Mata-yoshi, chief executive officer of the Hawaii Red Cross. “It’s important that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the free Red Cross Hurricane App to help make it through the next storm safely.”

The free Red Cross Hurricane App provides real-time information on hurricane safety. The app has information on local Red Cross shelters and a tool kit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm.

The Red Cross noted that there are two types of hurricane advisories:

* Hurricane watch, threat is possible within 48 hours. That’s the time to review hurricane plans, get ready to act if a warning is issued and to stay informed.

* Hurricane warning, conditions are expected within 36 hours. That’s the time to complete storm preparations and to leave the area if directed to by authorities.

The Hurricane App can be found at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Learn more about all of the Red Cross mobile apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.

Information on hurricane preparedness is available at redcross.org/hawaii.