Put an emergency plan on your long weekend to-do list

Labour weekend is a great chance to catch up on all those things you’ve been meaning to do around the house, from cleaning out the guttering to making an emergency plan.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management says the latest annual disaster preparedness survey, an independent survey undertaken by Colmar Brunton, shows that emergency preparedness is falling off many Kiwis’ to-do-list. Only four in ten New Zealanders took steps to get prepared over the last 12 months, compared to five in ten last year. 

“Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere and getting prepared is surprisingly easy,” says Executive Director Sarah Stuart-Black. “A good place to start is having a chat with your whānau or flatmates about what you need to do to get ready.”

Mrs Stuart-Black says emergency preparedness has been slipping over the last two years, after a spike in the wake of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and tsunami. This trend mirrors what happened after the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, which saw preparedness rise sharply and then dwindle as complacency crept in.

“Nobody wants an emergency to happen, but we have a responsibility to ourselves and our whānau to be ready when that day comes.

“Let’s swap She’ll be right for Getting ready is easy as.

“All you need to do is ask some simple questions – what do we need, where do we go? Who needs our help and who can help us?

“It’s not all about making sure we have baked beans for everyone -  it’s also important to talk about what our plans are if we’re stuck at home or have to leave home in a hurry, and what we’ll do if the roads are closed or the internet and phone lines are down.”

Mrs Stuart-Black says a plan can be tailored for your household, to take into account pets, people with special health requirements, and babies and young children.

People can visit the new Get Ready website to make a plan and to get simple tips on how to get ready for an emergency.

View the 2019 annual disaster preparedness survey.