Although Nelson came off relatively unscathed after this morning’s earthquake, it is a timely reminder for residents to have their emergency survival kits ready to go, and to have a plan in place.
Nelson Tasman Emergency Management says households and workplaces should be prepared with an emergency kit that includes: a torch and radio with spare batteries, wind and waterproof clothing, face and dust masks, a first aid kit, blankets or sleeping bags, pet supplies, toilet paper and a large rubbish bag.
You should also include enough food and water for at least three days, including non perishable foods, plenty of bottled water, a can opener and a primus or gas barbeque.
Those with babies or young children should also make sure they have formula, food and drink, nappies, wipes and spare clothing.
If you need to evacuate, it is also a good idea to have a ‘getaway kit’ for everyone in the house.
This should include emergency water and food, a first aid kit and essential medicines, baby items, toiletries, pet supplies, blankets and extra clothing. Important documents, such as identification, financial documents and precious photos should also be packed, and it can be a good idea to include some extra cash.
Nelson Tasman Emergency Management also recommend that you place your emergency kits somewhere that is easy to get to and make sure everyone in your house knows where it is kept.
They also recommend that you check all batteries every three months and that battery powered lighting is the safest and easiest, as candles can tip over in earthquake aftershocks, or in a gust of wind.
Nelson City Council communications manager Paul Shattock says this morning’s earthquake shows us that a natural disaster can happen at any time.
“It is really important that you and your family take the time to make a plan, and are prepared when an event occurs,” he says.
“The Nelson Region was lucky with this event, and this will act as a reminder for us all to have those plans in place.
“Remember – if an earthquake hits, then drop, cover and hold.”
For more advice on how to get prepared, go to: http://nelsontasmancivildefence.co.nz/getting-prepared/. Copies of the Nelson Tasman Emergency Management Plan are also available from their management office, libraries, council offices and service centres.