Americas, Disaster, November 5 2019

HAWAII: Hawaii nonprofits are distributing water jugs to seniors and homebound individuals across the state as part of efforts to ramp up emergency preparedness. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency worked with county agencies to provide the 2 1/2 gallon collapsible jugs to vulnerable residents. The effort is funded by a $30,000 federal grant that aims to ensure those least able to help themselves will have some safe drinking water during emergencies.

Plastic jug of water

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the Board of Water Supply are handing out emergency water jugs, like the one pictured, to seniors and homebound individuals across the state.

Local nonprofits like Hawaii Meals On Wheels and Catholic Charities Hawaii are distributing more than 25,000 jugs.

Ernie Lau, Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s chief engineer, said senior citizens, are vulnerable during disasters and emergencies. But hauling cases of bottled water may be difficult for some kupuna. “But in preparation for a disaster, right out of your tap, is clean drinking water. And by providing these containers, with instructions on the outside of the container [on] how to make water safe, it’s a chance for our kupuna just to go to their kitchen faucet and fill up these 2.5-gallon jugs full of fresh water to store for a disaster,” he said

The jugs are not big enough to hold the minimum two weeks of water that officials recommend for emergencies – but they say they’re meant to help with preparations. Information on how to properly store water is available on the Board of Water Supply website.