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Get Ready to ‘Get Thru’ winter

27 May 2015

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management Media Release

Get Ready to ‘Get Thru’ winter

The cold snap has prompted a reminder from the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group for people to make sure they’re prepared for winter.

Ian Macdonald, HBCDEM Group Manager, says floods are New Zealand’s number one hazard in terms of the frequency, losses and the number of ‘states of local emergency’ that have been declared.

He says snow can also have a significant impact.

“It only takes a few centimetres on a road to make driving dangerous. In large quantities, snow can immobilise regions by disrupting communications, transport and supply lines, hampering the operation of emergency services, and increasing the risks to the most vulnerable members of the community.”

Mr Macdonald says communities can help themselves to reduce the impact of winter flooding, storms and snow events by determining their risk now and getting their household ready.

He is encouraging Hawke’s Bay people to sign up to the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Facebook page for more information on getting prepared and keeping up to date with a civil defence emergency information in the region.

A series of Facebook posts are planned this week to highlight the importance of learning about disasters, having a household emergency plan, having emergency survival items and preparing a getaway kit.

The tips, which will be posted are:

• Develop or update your household emergency plan and learn more about storms, floods and landslides before the worst weather strikes.

• Extreme winter weather, including floods, storms and landslides can isolate households and knock out heat, power and communication services. Assemble and maintain Emergency Survival Items for your home, work and vehicle, so you can be self-sufficient for at least three days. Also check on neighbours, especially the elderly or people living alone.

• Make sure your home is properly insulated and consider buying emergency heating equipment to reduce your reliance on electricity during an emergency. Have a backup plan if your health depends on your power supply.

• Floods, storms, landslides and other winter hazards may mean you have to evacuate your home. Assemble and maintain a getaway kitin case you have to leave in a hurry. Include long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a warm jacket, and sturdy shoes. The most common injury following emergencies is cut feet.

• If severe weather is threatening your region, keep listening to radio or television stations and follow the instructions of local civil defence emergency management officials. Authorities do not ask people to leave unless they decide that lives may be in danger. If authorities tell you to evacuate immediately, evacuate immediately! Taking your getaway kit with you to a safe place.


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