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What will you do, if you can’t get home tonight?

What will you do, if you can’t get home tonight?

The Wellington Regional Council is asking commuters, “what will you do, if you can’t get home tonight?”, to encourage greater preparedness for an emergency, from October 7-11, Natural Hazards Awareness Week.

Wellington could suffer a major natural disaster which could damage property, close roads and shut down transport services. Commuters and businesses will be reminded that in an emergency they may not be able to get home for up to three days.

“We want people to think about what they would do if they couldn’t get home, and to plan for what each family member will do,” says WRC Emergency Management manager Rian van Schalkwyk.

Business and community groups are also being contacted and reminded of the benefits of recovering quickly after a disaster.

“Having a business continuity plan will allow businesses to get up and running quickly. This will give them a competitive advantage and also help the community get back to normal,” Mr van Schalkwyk says.

On October 9, commuters at railway stations will be given free emergency checklists. The checklists give practical steps people can take in an emergency, such as arranging authorised people to collect children from school, deciding on a meeting place and ensuring everyone in the household knows how to safely turn off the power, gas and water.

Mr van Schalkwyk says over 70,000 people commute between cities in the region each day. In an emergency, commuters need to be able to cope on their own and be prepared to help others, wherever they are.

“If people have first aid skills we want them to be able to help others, rather than getting stressed about being unable to get home.”

For more information on potential hazards, disaster preparation and management, or emergency planning for businesses, contact Emergency Management at the Regional Council or see: www.wrc.govt.nz

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