Home for the holidays? It’s a great time to catch up on the pile of books on the bedside table, the list of movies you meant to watch … and the planning you know you need to do for the family, just in case something awful happens.
Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management advises Aucklanders to make a plan with their family to get through an emergency.
“We know from recent tragic experiences around New Zealand that the better prepared a family is the less stress and risk they experience,” says John Dragicevich, Director of Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
He offers some straightforward, practical advice.
“Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn’t have them.”
Make the list (or use a handy online plan), stick it on the fridge and make sure everyone knows the plan. Or save it as a PDF and email it to your family members.
Household Plan Checklist
- Make a list of all household members and their contact numbers.
- Decide on a meeting place if you can’t get home – whether you are out during the day, at work or school, or away on holiday. Make sure everyone knows the meeting place.
- If you are not able to pick up the kids, decide who will. Make sure whoever is looking after your kids (school, daycare) knows your alternative pick up person.
- If you can’t get in touch with each other, decide who you will all check in with (someone out of town in case local phone lines are down).
- Work out how to find the latest news/alerts (which radio stations, websites, social media pages) and download the Red Cross Hazard App.
- Think about friends and neighbours who may need your help or who can help you – write down their contact details.
- Work out who you will need to contact in an emergency (always dial 111 in an emergency). Think about the council emergency hotline 09 303 0101, medical centre or doctor, landlord, insurance company, power company, day care or school, work, family members. Write down all of their contact details.
- Prepare for if you are stuck at home. Check you have emergency supplies - food and drink for three days or more (for everyone including babies and pets); torches and radio with batteries; first aid and medical supplies (including regular medications). They don’t all need to be in one big box, but you may have to find them in the dark.
- Know how to turn off water, power and gas, even in the dark.
- If you have no power, work out how you will cook, stay warm and see at night.
- Check you have spare cash in case ATMs are not working.
- Check you have enough fuel in case petrol pumps are not working.
- If there is no water, check you have enough drinking water (three litres per person per day for three days or more). Keep a supply on hand and refresh it every 12 months.
- Think about what you will cook and clean with if there is no water.
- Make emergency provision for toilet facilities.
- If you have to leave in a hurry, have getaway kits for everyone - at home, at work, in the car. A getaway kit is a small bag with warm clothes, torch, radio, first aid kit, and enough snack food and water to get you to your safe place.
Get help to make a plan at happens.nz/make-a-plan