What to do in a natural disaster

In New Zealand, the risks posed by natural and man-made hazards are a fact of life.

Knowing what to do in the event of a disaster can help to keep you and your family safe.

Vist www.getthru.govt.nz for more on what to do during an emergency and how to look after yourself, your family, your home, business and community.

Are you & your family prepared for an emergency?

Be prepared to cope on your own for up to three days, or more.

Everyone will be affected by a disaster, including the rescuers that we rely on. Immediately after an event, emergency services and civil defence staff will have to respond to the most critical demands. This means they may not get to everyone who needs help as quickly as needed.

It could be several days before services are restored. Even then, access may be limited. Damaged infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and rail lines, will take longer to restore.

This is when you will be most vulnerable. Get ready now to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.

Before a disaster

You will need to have:

  • A Household Emergency Plan that will help you and your household plan for what to do when disaster strikes
  • Household Emergency Checklist this list will help you prepare essential food, water, clothing and medical supplies for you and your family to cope for at least three days
  • A Getaway Kit of essential emergency and medical items if you need to be evacuated.

Reduce the impact & recover quicker

There are other measures that you can take to reduce the impact of a disaster and recover quicker.

  • Check with your local council and Civil Defence Emergency Management Group about the warning system in your local community. Make sure you know what actions you must take when you hear this warning.
  • Learn first aid and fire safety techniques: www.fire.org.nz
  • Make sure your home is quake-safe. Visit the Earthquake Commission for more information.
  • Ensure your insurance cover is adequate and up to date.
  • Find out how to help others. Get to know your neighbours to see who may need assistance. Consider becoming a volunteer in your community.
  • When buying a new home, make sure you know what hazards could affect the area. Go to your council and request a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) or PIM (Property Information Memorandum).
  • Get ready at work. Know what your workplace emergency plan is.
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