Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighbourhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephones were cut off? Emergency services will be on the scene after a disaster, but in the immediate aftermath of an event, they will not be able to get help to everyone as quickly as needed. This is when individuals and communities are at their most vulnerable. This is why it is important for everyone to plan to be able to look after themselves for at least three days in the event of a disaster. Don't forget to include pets/livestock in your plan.You and the other members of your household could be separated during a disaster without any means of contacting each other as telephone services are likely to be affected. Having a plan will help you work through where you will meet, who will pick up the kids from school etcetera. Families can and do cope better with a disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do beforehand is your best protection and your responsibility. Learn more about Household Emergency Plans by contacting your local civil defence emergency management officer, visit www.getthru.govt.nz or download a Household Emergency Checklist to make sure you are ready.
A Household Emergency Plan is a personalised action plan that lets each member of a household know what to do in a particular disaster situation, and how to be prepared in advance. A functional Household Emergency Plan helps alleviate fears about potential disasters, makes actual disaster situations less stressful, and saves precious time in the face of disasters.