Take five to get your family prepared

Getting your household prepared for a disaster could take just five minutes, Minister of Civil Defence Hon Kris Faafoi says, and they could be the best five minutes you’ve ever spent.

 “We all have people and things that are important to us – our family, our friends, our pets, our community and our homes. I’m appealing to everyone to think about how we protect those things the best we can – by ensuring we are prepared if a disaster should strike.”

 Mr Faafoi says he was concerned that many Kiwis are putting preparedness in the too hard basket, after reading a new survey that shows a decline in the number of New Zealand residents who have taken steps to get prepared for a disaster. The 2018 Disaster Preparedness Survey was undertaken by Colmar Brunton on behalf of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM). It shows that 50 percent of New Zealanders took steps to get prepared in the last 12 months, down from 57 percent in 2017.

 “Following the Canterbury sequence of earthquakes, we saw a spike in people getting prepared, then it dwindled over time. We’re seeing the same pattern emerge following the Kaikōura earthquake which suggests complacency is creeping in again.”

 Mr Faafoi said the message to Kiwis is simple: “Don’t wait for a big emergency to get prepared — do it now. It’s easier than you think.

 “Getting prepared doesn’t need to be a difficult or costly task. The most important thing you can do is have a five minute conversation with your family, whanau or flatmates, and make a plan. Ask a few simple questions - what do we need, where will we go? Think about who needs our help or who could help us?”

 Results from the survey are being used to inform the development of MCDEM’s public education programme. Recent campaigns have focused on families and under-30s, and a new approach is being developed to target diverse communities.

 Mr Faafoi says radio remains comfortably the ‘go to’ source of information during and immediately after an emergency, followed by the Civil Defence website and television.

 The survey report is available here. To make a plan and find out more about getting prepared, visit www.happens.nz

 Note to editors

More New Zealanders than ever before (93 percent) are aware of the kind of kinds of disasters that could occur and 86 percent understand what the effects of these disasters would be. This means most New Zealanders know why they should prepare.

 Another positive sign is that nine in ten New Zealanders know the correct action to take if a long or strong earthquake happens when they’re near the coast. There has, however, been a drop in the number of people who know the right actions to take during an earthquake. ShakeOut, New Zealand’s national earthquake drill and tsunami hikoi takes place on Thursday 18 October at 9:30am.