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Emergency preparedness on the rise

Emergency preparedness on the rise

Householders within the Horizons Region are Getting Ready to Get Thru according to the results of a Statistics New Zealand survey on emergency preparedness released today.

Data collected as part of the 2012 General Social Survey shows a 7.8 per cent increase in the number of Manawatu-Wanganui households equipped with emergency food and water for three days and an emergency plan between 2008 and 2012.

It aligns with findings of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s 2013 annual preparedness survey in which 31 per cent of households within the Horizons Region felt they were prepared at home.

Horizons emergency manager Ian Lowe says while preparedness figures are climbing, the best time to get ready is before disaster strikes.

“Our Region’s had a bit of a shake-up recently with the Eketahuna quake. Our communities coped remarkably well and we were lucky that damage levels were relatively low.

“However, it is a reminder that disasters can strike at any time and had the outcome been different, people may have had to call upon their emergency supplies,” he says.

Mr Lowe says it’s important that households create a plan to look after themselves and their loved ones for at least three days or more. This should include such things as where to meet up after a disaster, where to store emergency survival items and what to include in a get-away kit.

“It’s not just earthquakes,” Mr Lowe says. “In this Region, like many places in New Zealand, we are susceptible to a range of hazards including flooding, tsunami and volcanic activity.

“This time 10 years ago, flooding was a major issue for many within our Region. We have made huge strides in terms of flood protection, planning and monitoring since then but it is a good opportunity to look back, remember what we overcame and think about how we might get through a similar event in the future.”

Representatives from the Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group will be present at this year’s Central District Field Days on sites E30-32 March 13-15.

For further advice or information on emergency preparedness, contact your local council’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Office or visit www.getthru.govt.nz

Ends

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