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Southern DHB reminding staff to “Get Ready”

Media Release

22 September 2014

Southern DHB reminding staff to “Get Ready”

This week is Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management “Get Ready Week” and Southern DHB is asking staff if they’re ready in the event of a disaster.

The theme of Get Ready Week is "What Would You Do?" This question can be applied to all types of disasters and it invites people to think about what they would do if, for example, the power was cut off for several days or their home and/or work was flooded or a tsunami was heading their way.

Southern DHB is reminding staff that there are easy steps to get ready including learning about disasters and how to keep safe, creating and practising a household emergency plan, assembling and maintaining emergency survival items and having a getaway kit in case they need to leave in a hurry.

“These are all simple steps and don’t take long to sort out. The great thing about them is that once you’ve done the plan and assembled the emergency survival items and getaway kit all you need to do is to check and update them each year,” said Southern DHB Emergency Management Manager, Paul McNamara.

“People don’t really think that an emergency will happen to them, that it happens only to other people, but it’s a reality here in New Zealand that we might have an earthquake or other natural disaster at any time.”

Staff member Sarah knows only too well what it’s like to be in a disaster. She experienced the Canterbury earthquakes and says that, “it’s very difficult to explain what it’s like. Little things that you usually take for granted become a priority like keeping enough petrol in the car, making sure your phone is charged and having cash in the house in case all the Eftpos machines stop working. I really don’t think people realise that they have to think about and plan for an emergency.”

Discussing with people their emergency plan is a natural follow-upto the question, “What Would You Do?” as is checking with people to see what they have already done towards the plan.

This provides the opportunity to reassure people that they probably have done more than they think to prepare for a disaster and provide them with the opportunity to discuss the plan with family, friends, workmates and neighbours.

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