Making it easier for disabled people to get ready for an emergency

New Zealand’s emergency preparedness website,, is now available in Braille, Easy Read, Audio and Large print formats, making it easier for disabled people to access information on how to get ready for an emergency.

The Get Ready website supports individuals, whānau, communities, schools and businesses to get ready for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

The latest addition of these alternate formats was part of a larger project overseen by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that has seen the website brought in line with the latest national and international accessibility standards. The website also uses plain language to make preparedness quick and easy.

“Over the last year, NEMA has also been working to improve accessibility and add 14 languages to the site including New Zealand Sign, Te Reo Māori, Arabic, Samoan, and Hindi,” says Director Civil Defence Emergency Management John Price.

“We wanted to make it easy for everyone in Aotearoa to make a plan with their whānau. We hope this encourages more people to have conversations with their loved ones about getting prepared. Being ready is the best way we can reduce the impacts of an emergency.”

John Price recognised the mahi of Deaf Aotearoa, Blind Low Vision and People First, who provided advice and developed the alternate format versions together with NEMA throughout the project.

“Accessible information is an important part of making Aotearoa New Zealand a non-disabling society,” says Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People Chief Executive Paula Tesoriero.

“Nearly a quarter of people in New Zealand are disabled and all disabled people have the right to information. By making information accessible, disabled people are not left behind and don’t have to rely on others in an emergency.

“Whaikaha recognises the vital role that NEMA plays in emergency situations. The extreme weather events provided an opportunity for our agencies to work together and learn from each other. I look forward to our agencies continuing to collaborate and work together to ensure the needs of disabled people are met.

“Whaikaha encourages all government agencies to consult with disabled people on their policies and initiatives and make information accessible,” says Paula Tesoriero.


Published: Jan 12, 2024, 10:33 AM