Get Ready Tips


Make a family plan

Talk to your family about what you would do in an emergency.

How would you contact each other if the cellphone network wasn’t working? If an earthquake happened while you were at work and your kids were at school or sports practice, where would you meet up? Does everyone know how to turn off the water and power to your house? Do you have food and basic supplies stored? Can you find a torch and fresh batteries in the dark?

Check out for more information.


Store essential supplies for three days

In an emergency, you may need to cope in your home for up to three days. Think about what you and your family will need, and stock up next time you go shopping. Useful items include:

  • Non-perishable food, like rice, pasta and tinned food.
  • Water – enough for 3 litres a day for every member of your household
  • BBQ or camp stove to cook
  • Torch (and spare batteries)
  • Car charger for your cellphone

Remember your pets will get hungry and thirsty too.


Taking care of everyone

Imagine the roads are blocked and you can’t get to the supermarket or chemist for a few days. What would this mean for you and those relying on you? Do you have three days’ supply of any special food – baby formula, for example? What about medication? Is your first aid kit well stocked?

Take some time to think what you would need to help you all cope, and make a list for your next shopping trip.


Get your place of work ready

Think about how an emergency would affect your operations. Many Christchurch businesses suffered badly and some went under because they had no continuity plans. At the simplest level, this includes having off-site back-up for your records and information, or arrangements to source a generator for back-up power. Could your staff work from home, or in alternative premises, to keep your business going? Could you come to an arrangement with another business for mutual assistance?

Look around your workplace and consider the safety of your staff and customers. Talk to your staff about your plans for coming to work on snow days, if access is blocked by floods or a rockfall, and what help you could offer them if they couldn't get home at the end of the day.

Being prepared for emergencies is easy. And the more prepared you are, the better your family will manage when the unexpected happens.


Pets and live stock

Remember to include them in your emergency planning. Animals may be frightened by a storm, an earthquake or floods, and they may run off. If you have to evacuate in a hurry, you may not be able to take animals with you.

Microchipping your pets or ensuring they have a collar tag with your contact details will help your chances of finding a lost pet. And when you’re putting your household emergency kit together, remember to include pet food and water.


Get your vehicle ready

What would you do if you were stuck on the road for several hours, or even overnight, because of flooded roads, heavy snow or rockfalls? In winter we carry chains and ice-scrapers but every vehicle should also have a first aid kit, a torch and a car charger for your cellphone. A bottle of water, some food and a rug are also useful. If you're stuck in your car in an isolated area, it's safest to remain in your vehicle until help arrives, unless you're at risk of being trapped in floodwater.


Get to know your neighbours

We know from the Christchurch experience and other disasters around the world that communities where people know their neighbours are more resilient and cope better in emergencies. If you haven’t met the people who live over the fence or across the road from you, today’s a great day to reach out and say gidday. You don't have to live in each other's pockets but maybe start by swapping phone numbers.