Most akamai Maui residents are well-practiced in the art of disaster preparation, as they calmly go about the business of collecting necessities to endure possibly weeks of no electricity and to sustain them when "things go bad."
Residents a few weeks ago waited patiently in line at first notice that Hurricanes Iselle and Julio might just be headed to their neighborhood, stocking up on cash, gasoline, propane, batteries, bottled water, canned goods, rice and toilet paper.
We have days or even weeks to prepare for hurricanes due to our increasingly sophisticated warning systems. But Maui County is vulnerable to a number of natural disasters besides hurricanes and tropical storms, including earthquakes, locally generated tsunamis, floods and fires.
A family project. Molly Rasmussen is well-prepared for the next “event” with the 2-Person Hurricane Emergency Survival Kit and 60-serving breakfast, lunch and dinner bucket her family purchased through the Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui.
Photo: Richard Rasmussen
These events that happen with little warning give us no time for a Costco run or a quick trip to Pukalani Superette. So we should always be prepared at all times, but are we?
The Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui, "The Green Club," offers a way to make "permanent preparedness" a simple process.
The club began selling emergency food and supply kits to help Maui families prepare for disasters at the Maui County Emergency Preparedness Expo in May as part of its community service mission.
"Many of Maui's busy residents do not have complete emergency kits," said Upcountry Rotary Emergency Preparedness Chair Lynn Rasmussen. "Even if kits have been assembled, it's possible they may contain expired food items."
"The beauty of a professionally packaged kit is its convenience, completeness and its substantial shelf life," she said. "Not only have the food products from the company we selected been rated the best tasting of all emergency foods, they don't expire for 25 years, so there is no need to constantly monitor and replenish them. They are virtually permanent and worry-free for the long-term."
The kits and emergency food buckets offered by the club meet the recommendations made by Hawai'i State Civil Defense for portable food, water and warmth (www.scd.hawaii.gov/dp_kit.html). The club offers five categories of emergency products: "bug out" kits, people and pet food, stoves/fuel and water kits.
Emergency Grab-and-Go Survival Kits
In the event evacuation is necessary, the Rotary club offers a variety of kits that are grab-and-go ready.
The 2-Person Essential Hurricane Bug Out Kit Survival Kit includes essential items that fit into a heavy-duty backpack, which comes with the kit. It includes a water bottle with an advanced water filter, a large folding water container, water purification tablets and instructions, meal replacement bars, emergency reflective blankets, ponchos, a two-person tube tent, a flashlight and radio with batteries, a hygiene kit (which includes toilet paper), a first aid kit, an emergency preparedness guide, a pry bar and more.
"Oh, sure, you could assemble it all yourself, but for only $165 or less than $70 per person, it's ready to roll in an instant," said Rasmussen.
The 2-Person Deluxe Hurricane Bug Out Kit comes with more essentials for $320. It contains all the items in the kit described previously, plus a duffle bag, radio/flashlight/charger, more high-calorie food bars and meal replacements, light sticks, a multi-tool knife, duct tape, utility gloves, a larger first aid kit, rope, 33-gallon plastic sack, a six-pack of emergency candles, a GI can opener and more.
The 4-Person Essential Hurricane Bug Out Kit Survival Kit is $425 and comes with the items above, but for four people, and includes emergency sleeping bags, hand warmers and a number of other essential items.
"It's all ready to roll and costs only about $100 per person," said Rasmussen. "A larger selection of kits and items are available at our online store." (Visit squareup.com/market/rotary-club-of-upcountry-maui.)
"We chose Legacy Food Storage because Wesson Research, an independent research company, rated it first out of the top 10 food storage companies," said Rasmussen. "It won in all categories: best tasting, most calories/serving, largest serving sizes and most reasonably priced."
Legacy Premium food packs are vegetarian (meat options are also available) and GMO-free, with a shelf life of 25 years. Legacy even offers gluten-free options.
"For example, a 32-serving kit is $88, shipping included, and contains four servings each of pasta primavera, chili mac, enchiladas, beans and rice, stroganoff, loaded baked potato, classic chili mix and cheese and broccoli soup mix," said Rasmussen. "There is also a 60-serving bucket for $165 and a 60-serving gluten-free bucket for $210."
She added, "There are many healthy choices available."
Don't Forget Your Pets!
The Rotary club even offers pet food kits.
"You don't want to run short of pet food if and when disaster strikes," said Rasumussen. "The pet food buckets we offer have a 10-year shelf life, so you won't need to worry about replenishing them--best case scenario--for a decade."
The cat food bucket is $91 and the dog food bucket is $125. Each contains 30 pounds of pet food.
Of course, stoves, fuel and water are required to prepare the food. The stoves and fuel options offered vary in capacity and price.
"A Bobcat stove can provide anywhere from 16 to 96 or more hours of cooking time, depending on the number of fuel packets you buy, starting at $44," said Rasmussen.
"Most Maui residents already have some kind of day-to-day water storage," she said. "But it can be tricky to store a large quantity for possible a week or more for multiple uses," said Rasmussen. "Filling your bathtub is an option, but if you are going to use it for drinking water, it could easily become contaminated with debris.
"We offer emergency water supply boxes with fill hoses and treatment kits," said Rasumussen. Our 30- box set with a treatment and fill kit provides a one-month supply for one person for $74. Larger sets are also available."
Easy Ordering--Community Benefits Included
All these products and more are offered through the Rotary club's online Square store: squareup.com/market/rotary-club-of-upcountry-maui. Prices include shipping.
The award-winning Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui makes a small percentage on each kit to help fund local "green" projects and scholarships for Upcountry high school students.
"We cannot stop natural disasters, but we can arm ourselves with knowledge and the essentials to sustain us," said Rasmussen. "Help yourself, your family, and even purchase a kit for a friend while supporting Maui's 'Green Club.'"
As state and county's civil defense officials have stated many times, when it comes to natural disasters, "it's not a matter of if, but when."
For more information, call Rasmussen at (808) 264-5557.