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Timely Reminder To Get Ready Before Disaster Strikes

Civil Defence Emergency Management
6 September 2010

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group is ready to provide assistance to Canterbury following Saturday's earthquake.

Diane Turner, Chair of the Bay of Plenty CDEM Coordinating Executive Group said the Group is in regular contact with the National Crisis Management Centre, through which requests for assistance will come.

Ms Turner said Bay of Plenty residents should take 30 minutes this week to sit down with their families and make sure they're ready for an emergency according to the Bay of Plenty CDEM Group.

"A recent research report identified that only 15 percent of Bay of Plenty residents were fully prepared to cope with an emergency event," she said.

"The Bay of Plenty has significant exposure to a wide range of hazards including severe weather, flooding, earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions."

Bay of Plenty CDEM Group Controller Warwick Murray said the weekend's devastating earthquake in Christchurch showed that it was difficult to predict when and where disaster might strike so it was important people are prepared to cope.

"I encourage people to sit down now, and make sure they've got a household emergency plan, and ensure that they're equipped to cope for up to three days by themselves," said Mr Murray. "As has happened in Christchurch, you might be without power or freshwater for days, so make you Get Ready to Get Thru."

Mr Murray said there were two key steps that everyone needed to do this week to get prepared.

"Step one is sitting down with your family and filling out your Household Emergency Plan. You can download a copy of this off the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management website

"People should also look at their neighbourhood support network - if you're not a member, join. Communities working together in times of disaster are powerful and resourceful. Families also need to know how they're going to contact family members in an emergency."

Step two is ensuring you have emergency survival items to cope for three days or more.

"In the event of a major disaster caused by an earthquake, storm or flood, or volcanic eruption, the reality is that help cannot get to everyone as quickly as they may need it," said Mr Murray. "It is in the immediate aftermath of a disaster that individuals and families will be most vulnerable."

Mr Murray said as well as enough food and water he advised people had extra water storage containers available. Rural residents were advised have generator power backup to ensure farm businesses could continue to keep operating.


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