Reduction: Reduce the impacts of emergencies
This page provides messages about reducing the impacts of emergencies.
New Zealand communities are at risk from a broad range of hazards. This guide covers geological hazards like earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes; weather-related hazards such as storms, floods and droughts; and other hazards like pandemics, oil spills and fires.
Reduction can involve eliminating or avoiding the risks of a hazard where practical and desirable to do so. By learning more about the hazards that can impact your community, you can take steps to reduce the extent of their impacts. There is no way we can fully eliminate hazards and their impacts on our households, communities and wāhi mahi / workplaces, which is why it is so important to know what to do in an emergency and take steps to be prepared.
The best way to protect your whare/home is to take steps to reduce the potential damaging impacts of the hazards that can occur in your community.
Learn about the hazards that can affect you and what steps you can take to reduce their impact.
- Storms and severe weather
- Volcanic activity
- Other hazards
Learn how to reduce potential damaging impacts to your house, apartment or rental property at https://www.eqc.govt.nz/be-prepared
A house is often a homeowner’s most valuable asset, so it’s important to protect your whare/home and its contents against loss or damage caused by hazards.
Check your insurance:
- Find out what your insurance policy covers, as well as what it doesn’t cover (these are known as exclusions).
- If you’ve engaged an insurance broker, ensure you know which insurer your policy is held with.
- Check that you will have enough insurance cover to rebuild your whare/home and replace your valuables after an emergency.
- Review your insurance cover regularly to make sure it keeps pace with any change in the value of your whare/home or contents, or any change in the costs to repair or rebuild your whare/home.
The Earthquake Commission Act 1993 automatically gives some cover for your home, contents and land if you have private insurance (that includes fire insurance) when a natural hazard damages your whare/home. This is called EQCover.
Toka Tū Ake EQC has partnered with insurers to provide a single point of contact for residential insurance customers. You should contact your insurer to make a claim for damage from natural hazards.
If you rent your whare/home, it is strongly recommended that you have your own contents insurance. This will help to replace your belongings if they are lost or damaged. In addition, some contents insurance policies may include provision of temporary accommodation if the property you rent becomes uninhabitable.
Renters with private contents insurance (that includes fire insurance) will access insurance cover through their insurer, in line with their contents policy.
Changes to the New Zealand’s Residential Tenancies Act in February 2021 made it easier for tenants of rental properties to quake-safe their homes. The updated Act specifies that landlords must not unreasonably withhold consent for a minor fixture, renovation, alteration, or addition to a rental property. This means it’s now easier for tenants to protect themselves and loved ones from well-known household hazards such as unsecured tall and heavy furniture.
Under the Act, tenants must return the premises to substantially the same condition it was in before changes were made. If you’re a tenant and planning any quake safe actions at your place, be sure to talk to your landlord or property manager first.
Find out more on the steps you should take at your place in the Be Prepared section of the Toka Tū Ake EQC website:
Reduce the risks to your pets and other animals:
- Ensure your pets are all microchipped and their details are registered with the NZ Companion Animal Register (NZCAR). Make sure these details are kept up to date and include details for an out-of-region contact (as close friends and whānau/family may also be affected by the emergency).
- Review your pet insurance policy to see if it covers emergencies (for example, pet accommodation, behavioural trauma, and illnesses such as giardia from floods).
- Ensure outside kennels and caging are located on higher ground to avoid floods, and away from other hazards such as slopes prone to landslides.
- Restrain standing cages for birds and rodents, and tanks for fish and turtles, so they do not fall over or become damaged during earthquakes.