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Emergencies reinforce need for being prepared

Emergencies reinforce need for being prepared

Recent natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes may spur more residents around the Wellington region to be prepared for a major emergency, according to the regional council.

Greater Wellington Emergency Management manager Rian van Schalkwyk says a new survey of 500 residents of the Wellington region has revealed three out of five people have supplies they would use in a major emergency.

“We were pleased and surprised that 56% of the respondents said their level of preparedness was ‘good’ or better. Moreover, about 60% of people say they have emergency food, water and other emergency supplies and equipment.”

However the survey, undertaken last month, found that only a third of people had an emergency plan for the household, for example how the family members would communicate or where they would meet if there was an earthquake during the day.

People should think carefully about the amount of supplies they have, says van Schalkwyk. “About half the households had up to 20 litres of water for use in an emergency. But when you consider that people might have to cope on their own for a week or longer, that isn’t going to go very far. Households with four or more members stored the same amount of water as two-three person households.”

Greater Wellington will use the information from the survey to plan further education and to benchmark for future surveys to see if behaviour changes.

People can find out more information about hazards and how to be prepared from the back of the Yellow Pages or by contacting Greater Wellington for a series of hazard fact sheets.

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