Prepared communities start with prepared kids

Making sure kids are prepared for when emergencies strike will be at the heart of Get Ready Week, which is held every year in recognition of the International Day for Natural Disaster (13 October).

“This year’s theme for Get Ready Week is Prepared Kids," says Sarah Stuart-Black, Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM).

Mrs Stuart Black says Get Ready Week is a great opportunity for families to take the time to be more prepared at home and at work.

“We know that when kids are involved in preparing for emergencies and learning about natural hazards, they encourage their families to be more prepared and play a more active role in responding to and recovering from emergencies.”

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups across the country are spending the week promoting preparedness in the community, sharing resources to get families talking about preparedness and involving kids in their plans.

Mrs Stuart-Black says MCDEM will this week be marking the International Day for Natural Disaster by launching its redeveloped and modernised What’s the Plan Stan, the well-known guide for teaching emergency preparedness in primary classrooms.

Today Mrs Stuart-Black – along with mascot Stan – joined students from Wilford School in Petone at their local Bunnings Store, to make their own emergency plans. (see attached pics)

As part of Get Ready Week, Bunnings stores across the country are this weekend promoting preparedness, through a range of activities. All stores will be offering information tables and product displays and many will be running DIY preparedness workshops and treasure hunts for families.

Bunnings General Manager New Zealand, Jacqui Coombes, said the team are really excited to support Get Ready Week this year. 

“We’re looking forward to working with local children and families to help spread the word and provide some handy tips on preparing for emergencies.

Our Kids D.I.Y. Workshops will provide fun and interactive ways for kids to learn some important messages whilst creating a practical emergency contact board. We encourage residents to get in touch with their local store to find out where their closest Workshop will be running,” said Jacqui.

TV3’s Sticky TV is also promoting preparedness during Get Ready Week, with four of their shows dedicated to talking about how to get ready.

Mrs Stuart-Black says the Ministry is committed to improving Kiwis’ preparedness through a revitalised public education programme. In July, the Ministry launched its innovative Happens campaign, featuring a Kids Questions promotional campaign, and lighthearted ‘Extremely simple’ videos starring beloved local actress Rachel House.


Get Ready tips:

  • Talk to your kids in an honest, but not scary, way about what might happen in an emergency, what you can do to keep safe, and what your plan is for if you can’t get home. The more involved they are, the less scared they will be if an emergency does happen.
  • Make a list of the people who could help you and those who might need your help in an emergency, write their numbers down in case
  • Contact your school or daycare and find out what their emergency plans are. Where will they go if they are evacuated? Who will look after the kids until you get there? Give the school or day care a list of three people who can pick the kids up if you can’t get there.
  • Make a list of supplies you might need at home and in your car – have a getaway bag for everyone, with warm clothes, snack food, water, ID, radio, torch and batteries.
  • Visit to work through an emergency plan with your family.

What’s the Plan, Stan? will be launched on October 13. 

Published: Oct 11, 2016, 1:24 PM