Being Prepared for an Emergency

The New Zealand land mass is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, so being prepared for the disaster events most likely to impact your community is important. Have a survival kit and a good supply of stored water and the ability to be self-sufficient for at least three days. 

Think about being able to look after your family and others in your community. Response teams will have important work to do, not preparing yourself might prove costly to you and it might put un necessary burden on the people and agencies responding to the disaster.

Have a Survival Kit

  • Emergency water (three litres per person per day minimum).
  • No-perishable foods.
  • Battery operated radio.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Essential Medications.
  • Emergency lighting (torch and spare batteries, lightsticks).
  • Toilet paper, large bucket and plastic bags (for making an emergency toilet).
  • Blankets and warm waterproof clothing.
  • Alternative cooking methods (gas cooker, BBQ).
  • Pet and animal supplies.
  • Baby supplies.

Store Water

  • Use clean soft drink bottles, not milk bottles.
  • Fill to overflowing from the cold tap. Replace the cap.
  • Store bottles away from sunlight.
  • Change water every 12 months.
  • You need at least nine litres for every person in your household (three day's supply).
  • Store safe water at home, at work and at school.

Have an emergency plan

  • Find out what emergencies could happen in your area.
  • Know what to do in an earthquake, flood, fire or chemical spill etc.
  • Know your neighbours and plan to support each other.
  • Where necessary, arrange with a near neighbour to look after your dependants at home. The emergency may prevent you from returning immediately.
  • Ensure that everyone knows how to safely turn off the power, gas and water.
  • Arrange authorised people to collect children from school. Give the list to the school. Schools are responsible for uncollected children in emergencies.
  • Talk to your family about what you will do and where you will meet.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place.
  • Find out where your nearest Civil Defence Centre or Community Emergency Centre is.

Be self-sufficient for at least three days

At a minimum be self-sufficient for at least three days. Being well prepared will enable you to help others.

Reduce the chances of getting hurt

How to make your home safer in the event of an emergency.

  • Install a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors.
  • Secure heavy furniture to the wall or floor.
  • Put heavy items on low shelves.
  • Secure your hot water cylinder and header tank.
  • Put strong catches on your cupboards.
  • Keep valuables and some food and clothing in higher places if you are in a flood prone area.
  • Have insurance for your building and contents.
  • Identify evacuation routes.
  • Safely store chemicals in secure containers.
  • Locate the switch off points for gas, water and electricity mains.
  • Learn first aid and keep a current certificate.
  • Practice your emergency plan.