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Ready-to-eat meals stockpiled for disaster preparedness

August 30, 2012
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - More than 10,000 ready-to-eat meals are now in the hands of Maui County disaster response organizations, thanks to a donation by the federal government.

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft flew in 19 pallets of the meals ready to eat (MREs), from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on O'ahu.

Salvation Army Disaster Relief Coordinator Cliff Spencer said that most of the five pallets of meals the Salvation Army Kahului Corps received will go toward disaster kits and for the organization's workers and volunteers, who offer their services during times of crisis.

Some of those meals will be used in the agency's homeless outreach program. The money the agency would have used for the disaster kits and the homeless meals will go toward other programs, such as giving food and supplies to needy families.

The Maui County Fire Department was a recipient of 10 pallets of meals. Other organizations that received some of the food were Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the county Office on Aging, state Department of Health and Maui Memorial Medical Center, officials said.

Rev. Paul Kaneshiro, chairman of the Maui County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, advised that every family should have disaster kits handy. One kit should contain food, water and emergency supplies to keep at home, and residents should have another "go pack" prepared at home in case it is necessary to evacuate quickly. The pack should also contain food, medicine and water as well as important papers, he said.



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