Friday | November 24, 2017
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Volunteers gearing up for Puna PREP Fair

The second annual Puna Regional Emergency Preparedness Fair — aka, the PREP Fair — is set for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, again at Keaau High School.

The family oriented event will focus on two new areas — social connectivity and community resources.

“This will include sharing and collecting input on parks as facilities for emergencies and gathering places, as well as the roles of churches and other community organizations in emergency response,” said PREP Fair co-chair Marlene Hapai.

A special children’s activity section will be available and high school students will have the opportunity to interact with many of the exhibitors and explore careers related to emergency response.

The Keaau High School cafetorium will be transformed into a giant mapping room and workshop area to gather more input about community proposed connectivity locations that were prioritized during the past year and put forward to determine their viability and potential for implementation and funding. New suggestions also will be collected. Civil Defense is responding to last year’s need for greater family emergency planning by providing workshops to do so.

“Once again, there is a great need for volunteers and sponsors to make this community-run event a success,” Hapai said.

A volunteer training session is scheduled from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Keaau Community Center. All areas needing volunteers will be discussed and then broken into smaller groups for individual training for specific duties.

“Help is especially needed in the mapping room, where members of specific subdivisions and surrounding areas can work with others from their area,” Hapai said.

Volunteers also can help with logistics, surveying, information booths, prize giveaways and assisting specific workshops and exhibits. To help as a volunteer, contact Toni Robert, the Hawaii Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) coordinator, at

Fair coordinators also are seeking sponsors to provide contents for the 200 Emergency Response Starter Bags to be given away in lucky number drawings.

“These bags can contain things like Band-aids and other first aid items, flashlights, sanitizers, can openers, water and any promotional items the sponsor chooses to include,” Hapai said. “Fairgoers will receive numbered tickets for each interaction at the fair which will be entered into a bin for drawing.”

Gift certificates and other prizes also can be given. Major sponsors will be invited to help with prize distribution, and all sponsors will be listed on the program passed out to attendees. The fair is free to attend. Exhibitors, demonstrators and workshop coordinators are asked to share with fairgoers how what they do can help in an emergency, and also how the public can help them. Food sold by the Keaau High School Athletics Club will be available.

“Although the fair focuses on the Puna district, only the mapping activities are specific to Puna. All other material is for the general public, and we welcome anyone from anywhere,” Hapai said.

To be a sponsor, or for more information, email Hapai at

“One good fair deserves another,” Hapai said. “Last year, the Puna Community Development Plan Connectivity and Emergency Response Subcommittee partnered with Hawaii County Civil Defense to present Puna and the Big Island community with a fair focusing on family and community preparedness and identifying alternative emergency escape routes to be used in case present routes were blocked.

“Presented with over 48 exhibits, contests and presentations and a mapping room filled with large maps showing detailed areas and subdivisions within the Puna district, residents interacted and provided community input and guidance to both Civil Defense and the subcommittee as well and left with a wealth of valuable information.”


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