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Disaster Awareness Week 2008

Disaster Awareness Week 2008 begins tomorrow on 5 October.

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker today reminded New Zealanders to get prepared for the impacts of a disaster or emergency.  

“Preparedness makes such a difference to our ability to survive,” said Mr Barker.  

“Our key messages apply to all emergencies – have emergency supplies, have a plan, be prepared.  Even in a major emergency help will eventually get to you but with damaged roads, bridges and telecommunications that could take three days or even more.  That is when we will be most vulnerable and need to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.”

October 8 is the United Nation’s International Day for Disaster Reduction. “We are all familiar with the images of disasters happening around the world, and we have had a few patches of extreme weather in New Zealand this year as well. We must all remember that it can happen to us,” Mr Barker said.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management will be broadcasting its Get Ready Get Thru television and radio advertisements from Sunday 5 October.  

The website that supports the campaign,, provides information in nine languages and has been updated to make it easier to find information and quicker to update.

“We are very grateful for the support we get from the media, who play a key role in providing public information during an emergency and it is great to have them involved in helping with public education before emergencies,” said Mr Barker.

“City, district and regional councils will also be holding local and regional events to highlight the need for all of us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and be prepared for emergencies.”

Activities planned include: testing of warning systems, erecting tsunami signs and publicising tsunami risks, articles and advertising in local newspapers, a school holiday programme, community displays and demonstrations, exercises, working with local shops to get messages across to their communities.

A 90-minute New Zealand-made earthquake drama, Aftershock, will screen on TV3 on Wednesday 8 October and will be followed on Thursday night by a one-hour follow-up documentary, Aftershock: Would You Survive?

Information about some of the local and regional events is on the Ministry’s website,
and people can also contact their district, city or regional council for more information about their local area.


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