$2.5m public education investment to improve Kiwis’ preparedness for emergencies

  • Nikki Kaye
Civil Defence

A campaign encouraging Kiwis to be better prepared for emergencies kicks off today, says Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye.

“The campaign, featuring online videos, a campaign website and social media content, is part of a new, $2.5 million, three-year public education programme,” says Ms Kaye.

“A redeveloped schools programme is also being worked on, with interactive online modules and a renewed focus on the curriculum.

“While New Zealanders have a strong awareness of how emergencies might affect them, this isn’t translating into the levels of preparedness we’d like to see,” says Ms Kaye. 

“This campaign and the wider public education programme are all about changing Kiwis’ ‘She’ll be right’ attitude to one of ‘We’re ready!’”

The campaign is tagged Never Happens? Happens, and reinforces the message that anyone, anywhere, anytime can be affected by an emergency, so being prepared should be part of everyday life.

“To make preparedness relevant for all Kiwis, the campaign focuses on the personal and household impacts of emergencies, such as having no power, water, phone or wifi, being stuck at home or unable to get home, or having to evacuate.

“We want to reach out to people in a memorable way and prompt them into taking action. The videos being launched today feature Kiwi actor Rachel House, who many people will recognise from the movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”

Ms Kaye says the first step to being prepared is having conversations with your family or household about your plans for an emergency, which can happen with little or no warning.

“We want to get people talking about where they’ll meet if they can’t get home, what supplies they might need, who might need their help or who will be able to help them.

“The new public education programme targets groups with lower than average levels of preparedness, including people aged between 18-30, families with lower incomes, new migrants and people with English as a second language.

“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups and other agencies will be encouraged to reach out to our most vulnerable through community channels.”

Ms Kaye says the programme will also be complemented with a pilot programme next year aimed at helping low income households get prepared. This could include offering emergency preparedness supplies.

To make your plan and check out the new campaign visit www.happens.nz, and follow www.facebook.com/nzgetthru and www.twitter.com/nzgetthru.


How prepared are New Zealanders?

Awareness and understanding of the effects of emergencies are high.

Around 92% of New Zealanders are aware of events that cause emergencies, and around 84% understand the effects of these events.

However, only 25% of New Zealanders describe themselves as prepared at home for an emergency, and only around 14% describe themselves as fully prepared for an emergency.

The new approach is designed to boost preparedness by making emergencies real and relevant, encouraging small steps and prompting conversations with loved ones.

The campaign is about getting people to take the first steps towards preparedness, with a particular focus on vulnerable people who have not taken any steps towards being prepared.