Disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods and storms can strike at any time, sometimes without warning. All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives.
Many disasters will affect essential services and possibly disrupt your ability to travel or communicate with each other. You may be confined to your home, or forced to evacuate your neighbourhood.
In the immediate aftermath of a major disaster, emergency services will not be able to get help to everyone as quickly as needed. This is when you are likely to be most vulnerable. So it is important to plan to look after yourself and your loved ones for at least three days or more in the event of a disaster.
Work out what you need to do to get your household, work, school or marae ready.
It’s up to you to make sure your household knows what to do and that you all have what you need to get through. Follow these easy steps to get your household ready.
Talk about the impacts
Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do in these situations.
Work out what supplies you need
In an emergency, you may be stuck at home for three days or more. Figure out what supplies you need and make a plan to work out what you need to get your family through.
Make a plan
Make a plan with your family/flatmates/friends to get through an emergency. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn’t have them. Fill in the form then print it out, stick it on the fridge and make sure everyone knows the plan. Or save it as a PDF and email it to your family/flatmates/friends.
Tailor your plan
Every household’s plan will be different, because of where we live, who lives with us and who might need our help.
When you’re making your household plan, remember to include everyone. Think about the special requirements of disabled people, older people, babies, young children, pets and other animals.
It's important to know the different ways you can stay informed during an emergency.
Make your home safer
We can't predict natural disasters, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Find out what you can do to make your home safer.
Emergencies can happen anytime, including during business hours. You can’t predict when they will happen, but you can take actions to make your business or organisation more prepared.
Planning for emergencies makes good business sense. Whether you are a large or small business, or a community organisation, you should plan for disruption from an emergency event. It helps keep you and your workers safe and minimises downtime.
Identify the risks to your business and staff
Find out what the risks are and how they can impact on your business. Risks include natural hazards, health emergencies and utility failures. If you have staff, talk to them about the risks they think are most relevant to your business.
Make an emergency plan for your business
Businesses have an obligation to be prepared for an emergency. In most cases we can’t predict when an emergency will happen. But we can make plans to make sure our staff are safe, our financial and personal losses are reduced and we are able to get back to business as soon as possible.
Look after your staff
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff, including caring for them during and after emergencies. Start by involving your staff in identifying risks and making an emergency plan. Talk to them about what they, and their whānau, would need to get through an emergency.
Provide supplies for your staff
In an emergency, your staff may be stuck at work or unable to take transport home for a day or more. Make sure you have enough supplies for everyone onsite for three days. This should include for visitors too.
Get involved in your local business community. Get to know your local Chamber of Commerce, industry organisations, business neighbours, competitors and suppliers. Talk to them about their emergency and business continuity plans. In an emergency, you may be able to help each other get back up and running faster.
Create contingency plans
Develop a contingency plan for your whole business. It should include staff, information, assets, customers, suppliers and distribution channels.
- Identify your core business needs, and how you’d manage in an emergency.
- Back up your data.
- Know how to contact staff and suppliers.
- Test your back up systems.
Prepare a plan for your farm or lifestyle block
Rural communities, businesses and individuals need to adapt and build resilience to emergencies. Your animals are your responsibility. You need to include them in your emergency planning and preparation. Failing to plan for them puts lives at risk.
Schools play a large role in keeping the community safe. Learn about your school's responsibilities and teach students the skills they need to be prepared.
Know your school's responsibilities
Your school or early childhood centre may face an emergency. It’s important to be prepared for emergency events and know how to respond if they happen. Early learning services and schools should have an emergency management plan for all hazards they may face. The Ministry of Education has advice and guidelines to help you prepare your school for emergencies.
Teach emergency preparedness
It's important to teach students about emergency preparedness and natural hazards. There's lots of information and resources available online to help teach children in early childhood centres, kura kaupapa and schools.
Play and learn
There are lots of fun ways to learn more about emergencies and how to be prepared.
What's the Plan, Stan?
What’s the Plan, Stan? is a free resource to support schools, teachers and students develop the knowledge and skills to prepare for emergency events.
Marae preparedness planning enhances resilience and safety of marae, taonga and iwi. It helps te hau kāinga and te haupori understand and manage their risks.
Marae Emergency Preparedness Plan
The Marae Emergency Preparedness Plan helps marae be as prepared as possible for a natural disaster or emergency. It encourages whānau, hapū and iwi to:
- think about the possible impacts of natural disasters, and
- recognise who could be called upon in the event of an emergency.
Work through the marae emergency preparedness plan to plan out what your marae will do.
If you, or a member of your household or community has a disability or any special requirement that may affect their ability to cope in a disaster, make arrangements now to get the support needed.
Build a personal support network
- Organise a personal support network of a minimum of three people to alert you to Civil Defence warnings, or to help if you need to be evacuated. This could be family members, carers, friends, neighbours or co-workers
- Ensure you have an emergency plan before a disaster happens and practise it with your support network
- Plan for various disasters and situations you could encounter
- Discuss your needs with the support network and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment
- Inform your personal support network
- Ensure you have emergency survival items, including any specialised items you need, and an emergency getaway kit in case of evacuation
- Keep at least seven days supply of your essential medications and make provisions for those that require refrigeration- talk to your doctor or chemist about your medication
- Wear a medical alert tag or bracelet to identify your disability or health condition
- When travelling let a hotel or motel manager know of your requirements in case of an emergency
- Know where to go for assistance if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
Radio and television stations will broadcast Civil Defence information and advice before and during a disaster. Ask your support network to alert you to warnings and keep you informed. Contact the emergency management staff at your local council to find out what local warning systems are in place in your community.
Consider installing a system appropriate to your needs such as an alarm with flashing strobe lights to get your attention. Replace the batteries once a year. You may want to consider giving a key to a neighbour so they can alert you to a warning. Keep a writing pad and pencils and a torch in your emergency getaway kit so you can communicate with others.
Further information and resources
If you have a disability or any requirements that may put you at greater risk in an emergency, you can find additional information and resources to help on the Get Ready website.
We all love our animals and that’s why it is important to think about how you will look after your pets during an emergency.
Your animals are your responsibility. You need to include them in your emergency planning and preparation. Failing to plan for them in case of hazards (such as an earthquake or flood) puts their lives at risk.
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).
- Include essential supplies for your pets in your emergency kits and grab bags.
- Ensure outside kennels and caging are located on higher ground to avoid floods, and away from other hazards such as slopes prone to landslides.
- Make sure you have a pet crate or cage for your animal(s) to be transported or held in while accommodation is being sought.
- Restrain standing cages for birds and rodents, and tanks for fish and turtles, so they do not fall over or become damaged during earthquakes.
Further advice and checklists for protecting your pets and other animals in emergencies is available on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
We stock emergency water containers that will come in handy during an emergency and these can be purchased from Taupō District Council offices in Taupō, Mangakino and Tūrangi.
Each water container holds 10 litres of water. Having access to clean water is vital in the aftermath of an emergency. You can fill these up and only have to worry about refilling once a year to ensure the water is fresh.