How to be prepared

Civil Defence needs people to take responsibility for their own safety in an emergency.

Everyone should understand that they are responsible for their own safety and the safety of those around them. The Neighbourhood Support system, extended to include Civil Defence, is the best way to gain an effective community self-help response. People may have to fend for themselves for up to three days while urgent rescue and response activities are occurring.

Make the following simple preparations:

  • Prepare a plan with your family.
  • Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to meet.
  • Know how and where to turn off mains electricity, gas and water.
  • Learn First Aid.
  • Have an emergency survival kit and a getaway kit and ensure everyone in your household knows where they are kept.
  • Join a Neighbourhood Support Group. Contact the Neighbourhood Support office on phone 348 0568 for more details.
  • In most emergencies you should be able to stay at home or at your workplace. In this situation, you may have to rely on your emergency survival kit. Each kit should have items that the whole family will need.

Survival kit

As a start, gather these items together:

  • A torch with spare batteries or light sticks
  • A transistor radio and spare batteries (there is a radio in your car)
  • A First Aid kit
  • Tinned food for two to three days for you and your pets
  • A can opener
  • Bottled water (3 litres per person per day)
  • A box of matches or lighter
  • Toilet paper

Add other items that your family will need e.g. baby food and nappies.

Remember tinned items, water and batteries need to be checked and changed every six months. Make a note on your calendar to do this at daylight saving changeover time.

Getaway kit

Take your survival kit plus:

  • Legal documents and important papers: birth, marriage and insurance certificates; passports; family photos etc.
  • Any special medical or dietary needs: prescription glasses, asthma inhaler, hearing aid, prescription drugs.
  • Toiletries and baby needs.
  • Feminine needs.
  • Also take warm clothing and bedding.
  • Wear warm clothes and strong footwear.
  • List of relations' and close friends' addresses and phone numbers.
  • Blankets and sleeping bags.

Don't forget your pets

Do you have a pet plan?

You should include your pets in your emergency preparedness planning. Have a pet box handy for smaller animals, and if you need to evacuate, take pets with you if you can. Larger animals, bees and stock may require assistance or moving as well. Where possible in weather events or when flooding is possible, move stock to high ground early.