Speaker gives straight story on preparedness

I attended the recent hazard preparedness meeting at the Lahaina Civic Center. The speech was given by the advocate of the American Red Cross. She stated clearly that no safety evacuation structures have been identified and certified as safe, however they hope to have some in the future and they will try to notify us as to which buildings are acceptable when they notify us of an impending hurricane.

She stated that they will try to notify us with the same radio system that broke down during the pali brush fire and that had left West Maui without communication with the rest of the island; that there are no provisions for the visitors; that you should stock up with food and expect to be on your own for two weeks; that CERT-trained personnel will not be able to assist prior to the cessation of the hazard and that the Red Cross will try to help out only after the disaster.

I commend her with giving us the straight story instead of the story that we would like to hear.

I suggest that the county immediately identify and mark certified safety evacuation centers with Civil Defense symbols and the words “Evacuation Centers,” as well as stock them with the necessary provisions. Also I recommend that the new Civil Defense director to be hired have disaster experience in their resume.

Paul Laub