Hawaii Red Cross to distribute more supplies in Puna

Big Island residents still reeling from the aftermath of Iselle can take heart. More relief supplies are on the way through the American Red Cross.

Many were upset Tuesday morning when they went to the Hawaii Red Cross shelter in Pahoa, only to find out volunteers had run out of most supplies, like batteries, water and tarps.

Volunteers say supplies were limited and thus difficult to get.

“We bought just about everything we could find on the island so we’re shipping other items over,” said Denise Everhart, Hawaii Red Cross. “Home Depot has helped us, Walmart is helping us, a few other companies are helping us by donating items and we’ve had some air freight donated, so we’re flying some supplies over.”

The Red Cross says a barge with supplies could have arrived earlier, but was diverted to rescue the crew of the sailboat that was caught in Hurricane Julio.

Supplies will continue to be distributed Wednesday at the following times and locations:

  • Pahoa Community Center parking lot – 15-2910 Puna Road, Pahoa (10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Puna Covenant Church – 16-647 Old Volcano Road, Keaau (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

The Hawaii Red Cross also has a shelter open at the Pahoa Community Center to support the individuals and families impacted by the storm. Residents needing to stay in the shelter will be provided with meals and a cot to sleep on and will also be able to take a shower and charge their phones at any time of the day.

Due to Hawaii’s isolation and vulnerability, the Red Cross recommends that people prepare their emergency kits for seven days and bring their emergency supplies with them to shelters.

Big Island damage assessment teams and caseworkers are continuing to visit the hardest-hit areas to determine what resources and assistance can be provided.

The organization is accepting donations to help with relief and recovery efforts. Click here for more information.

“The best way to donate is actually to donate money to the Red Cross because that way we can turn around and buy the supplies and get them out there in an orderly fashion,” Everhart said.

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