Earthquakes and Tornados - are we really prepared?

As a result of the life-altering earthquakes in Christchurch, the random tornados and the tsunami in Japan, we should be learning from those affected and preparing for the worst in all our communities.  The "she'll be right" attitude won't carry us through.

Think about your families and your businesses and how they will survive.  Make sure you all know what to do if a quake hits; in the middle of the night you need to know what your evacuation points are and where your family is to congregate.

For businesses:

  1. Make sure you have disaster plans in place.
  2. Ensure your technology is up to scratch.
  3. Make sure you have backed up your computers.
  4. Think about how you would operate if your business premises were destroyed or had no power, water or sewerage for several days.
  5. Check you have insurance that will cover you.

Think about the immediate costs which will be incurred for things such as clean-up and extra staff, and the on-going costs to your business.

For your families:

  1. Put plans in place with your families.
  2. Have a survival kit stored with water, canned food, can opener, etc.
  3. Torches and batteries, and a battery-powered or solar radio.


Plus anything else you may need to survive 3 to 4 days on your own. A 10 day supply of water, food & medicine is recommended.

You should also:

  • know how to turn off gas, water and electricity.
  • know emergency telephone numbers (doctor, hospital, police etc).
  • anchor heavy objects to walls (bookshelves, wall units, cupboards, etc).
  • remove heavy objects from over the bed.

After a disaster:

  • Check for injuries and check your neighbours ... Provide First Aid.
  • Check for safety - check for gas, water, sewage breaks, check for downed electric lines and shorts; turn off appropriate utilities.
  • Check for building damage and potential problems during aftershocks. 
  • Clean up dangerous spills.
  • Wear shoes.
  • Turn on radio and listen for instructions from public safety agencies.
  • Don’t use the telephone except for emergency use.
  • If you leave your property, leave a note to say where you’ve gone.

More information is on the Government website: http://www.getthru.govt.nz