So far this season, Hawaii has not been under threat from a hurricane, even though fierce storms on the mainland US continue to cause trouble for millions of people living in their paths. Hurricane Irene, though not a high category storm, was so enormous in size and full of moisture that her effects are still being felt on the East Coast. Thousands of customers are still without power after flash floods washed away homes and infrastructure in the wake of the storm. Many hundreds of people are even left stranded in North Carolina and Vermont after Irene washed away roads and highways.
Currently, Tropical Storm Lee is making his presence known along the northern Gulf Coast, prompting evacuations and emergency declarations. Again the issue is water, not wind. Hurricane Katia is also still churning out in the Atlantic, her future effects still unable to be determined. Not to mention, earthquakes in unexpected places continue to alarm those of us paying attention to the maps. Here is an update on these and other serious ongoing emergencies.
The aforementioned events did surprise many millions of people who live in places that are not usually faced with the concept of preparing for earthquakes or tropical storm systems. Hopefully, more people are now aware of the need to acquire emergency kits and preparation plans for their families, no matter where they live.
This is even more urgent now, because unfortunately the string of disasters that has hit the US so far this year is having a severe economic impact. Aside from lost farmland and businesses, FEMA is struggling to keep up with the enormous costs, and has warned that they are running out of funds. This could have an impact down the line, if further disasters threaten anywhere else around the nation anytime soon. In fact, FEMA is already postponing some projects in an effort not to be left empty-handed. FEMA head Craig Fugate said earlier this week, “Going into September, being the peak part of hurricane season, and with Irene, we didn’t want to get to the point where we would not have the funds to continue to support the previous impacted survivors as well as respond to the next disaster.”
So even though Hawaii has had a nice breather since the tsunami in March, now is not the time to become complacent. Pay attention to the news, and prepare your home and family however you can, keeping in mind the government may not have all the resources it would like to have to assist us if something hits here. It might be wisdom to add a little boost here and there to your food and water supplies, so you could support your family for a little longer if a storm or earthquake threatens.
Stay safe everyone.