At Home

Every household in the Queenstown Lakes District needs an emergency plan. 

A plan will make sure everyone living in your house knows what to do in case of an emergency.  There are three key parts to preparing for an emergency.  This page explains these and gives you some good tips along the way.

Three steps to being prepared

  1. Know the risks
  2. Make a plan
  3. Prepare an emergency survival kit


Know the risks

An important part of being prepared for an emergency is understanding the range of disasters you could potentially face.

The Queenstown Lakes District is prone to a number of natural and man-made hazards, such as:

  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Extreme winter conditions
  • Land slides
  • Fire

Although the consequences of most disasters are similar, it’s important to understand how each could affect you.


Make a plan

You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

Remember, your family or household may not be together when disaster strikes.  Make sure you plan how to meet or get in contact with each other and think about what you would do in each different situation.

Important things to consider and include in your plan are:

  • Escape routes / emergency exits from your home – Plan how you could escape from each room of your home.  Also plan how you would escape from your neighbourhood if you are ordered to evacuate.

  • Agree on meeting places – Identify a ‘safe place’ where everyone can meet if they are not at home in the event of an emergency.  If a Civil Defence emergency is declared, community welfare centres and ‘sector posts’ may be set up in a location near you.  Find out where your nearest sector post could be set up on our ‘Know where to go’ page; (see links below)

  • Children – If you have children, find out about their school or daycares’ emergency policies and how they intend to communicate with families during an emergency.  Make sure the school or daycare has up-to-date contact information for parents and a back up person who may pick up the children. 

  • Emergency contact information – include local emergency numbers such as 111, Police, Fire, Ambulance, the Council, neighbours and friends, and anyone else who may be able to help you, or who might require your help.  Don’t forget to include out-of-town people.

  • Electricity/Gas/Water – Make sure you know how turn off the electricity, gas, or water at your home.

  • Survival Kit – make sure you have basic supplies to get by for at least 72 hours.  You kit should be stored in an accessible place.  Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and that it could be easily carried if you need to evacuate your home.  More information on what to include in your survival kit can be found below:

Further information is available via the Earthquake Commission.


Prepare a survival kit

In a major emergency you may need to get by without power or tap water – this means you would need to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours.

Make sure you have the following supplies in your survival kit:

  • Bottled water – three litres per person per day 
  • Food – canned or dried is best
  • Primus or BBQ to cook on 
  • Manual can opener 
  • Waterproof torch and spare batteries 
  • Candles and matches or a lighter 
  • Battery-powered or wind-up radio 
  • Toilet paper and plastic rubbish bags to use as an emergency toilet 
  • First aid kit, including all essential prescription medicines 
  • Special items, such as infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities
  • Extra keys for your house or car 
  • Clothing – wind and rainproof is best.  Sun hats and strong shoes 
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags 
  • Food and drink for babies or young children 
  • Clothing and a favourite toy for young children 
  • A small amount of cash

Other items you might want to include:

  • Family documents, such as birth or marriage certificates 
  • Family photos 
  • Drivers licenses and passports
  • Insurance policies 
  • Towels, soap and toothbrushes 
  • A whistle, in case you need to attract attention 
  • Safety gloves 
  • Basic tools, such as hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdriver