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Red Cross recommends volcano evacuees pack 2-week emergency kits

  • DAN NAKASO / DNAKASO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Bernie Keliikuli, left, American Red Cross volunteer, Donna Goldsworthy, middle, American Red Cross volunteer, and Debbie Weeks, American Red Cross Director of Disaster Service of Hawaii County; counted the number of people and animals at Pahoa Community Center gym parking lot.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    People mill about in the American Red Cross shelter and evacuation center in Pahoa today.

The American Red Cross has opened two shelters for residents forced to evacuate due to the Kilauea lava threat at Pahoa Community Center and Keaau Community Center.

As of noon today, the Red Cross said there were 200 residents at the Pahoa Community Center at 15-3022 Kauhale St., and two at the Keaau Community Center at 16-186 Pili Mua St.

Red Cross spokeswoman Krislyn Yano said a restaurant was able to provide food to residents who evacuated last-minute and did not bring all the necessary supplies Thursday night. The Red Cross will partner with the Salvation Army today to provide meals today and work with other community organizations as necessary.

In an alert issued this morning, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions have been ordered to evacuate and should bring an emergency supply kit including necessary medicine, food and items for comfort as possible.

At about 3 p.m. today, the agency reported that 1,500 were evacuated from Leilani Estates, and 300 from Lanipuna Gardens.

Police closed Highway 130 between the Highway 132 intersection and south of Leilani Estates, state transportation officials said, due to an excessive amount of people on the side of the road and the potential exposure to hazardous gas from the lava. Motorists are advised to use Routes 137 (Kalapana-Kapoho Road) and 132 as alternates.

While no damage has been reported to any of the Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division as a result of the earthquakes or eruptions, crews are inspecting roadways, bridges and slopes, and will continue to monitor conditions. No damage was found during an inspection of runways and taxiways, as well as buildings, water, and gas lines at Hilo International Airport.

All airline operations have resumed.

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The Red Cross recommends that people prepare 14-day emergency kits and bring supplies with them to the shelters.

The kits should include one gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications, a manual can opener, personal hygiene items, copies of important documents, cell phones with chargers, family contact information, cash, bedding, a change of clothes, towels and dishes.

Other necessary items may include baby supplies, games, comfort items, and pet supplies, including a collar, leash and medications.

Jona Kaulu, a dispatcher at the Hawaii Police Department, said even those who have not yet been called to evacuate should be prepared.

“We are advising everyone to be prepared, even if they are not in a zone,” she said. “Make sure you have all your medications, any important documents that cannot be replaced and personal items that cannot be replaced.”

In addition, she recommends that people stay off the roadways if travel is not necessary. Pohoiki Road is closed from the intersection at Highway 132 to Highway 137 to ensure safety.

Full details about what the kit should contain are available at redcross.org/hawaii.

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