Being Prepared for Emergencies

getaway-kit

I lay awake last night with earthquakes on my mind. With the events in California in the past few days it really brought to mind the reality of an emergency situation like that and how if an earthquake was to hit at that moment – where even was my torch? How would I stay warm on a frozen night without shoes or socks?  It got me thinking that it was time to pay much more attention to what I would put in my emergency kit.  Earthquakes or other emergencies can hit anywhere and at any time.  It’s not just earthquakes of course although here in New Zealand we have had some very real reminders of the force of nature over the past few years. I live in the South Island where memory of the Canterbury earthquake is still raw and the possibility of a very big quake along the main divide is real so this is a good reminder to be prepared.

And not just yourselves – think about your relatives who may live on their own.   I remember with the Christchurch earthquake striking at night, reports were that it was very dark, that the contents of shelves and cupboards had tipped all over the floors making it very dangerous and frightening just to try and get out of the house to relative safety.  I was thinking about what my mother would do if this happened in the middle of a cold dark night.  Candles are not always a practical option in that situation so make sure you have a torch or a headlamp right beside your bed where you can put your hand on it if you need it.  Also with the new LED technology get a couple of lights you can put in key places that are triggered by movement. Not a bad idea for when you have to get up in the night anyway!

Just having a Backpack style close to the door or wherever you can grab it easily is a must.  There is plenty of advice out there for what to have in your bag. It doesn’t have to cost much – I have a back pack that I got from our local recycle centre for next to nothing.  After lying awake last night on a very frosty night, I thought I should also put in a merino vest and leggings which won’t take up too much space.  And keep good slip on shoes by the bed. Think about the things that are really important to you if you can’t get back into your house straight away.  Click on this link for some sensible advice.

https://getthru.govt.nz/emergency-survival-items

Emergency Preparedness Kits.

Your Go Bag doesn’t replace an emergency preparedness kit. This should have enough food and water for a minimum of 3 days, an alternative method of heating food and water, hand sanitisers, first aid kit and other safety equipment. The thing about living rurally rather than in the city is that we might not have the same problems as they have in relation to water supply and toilets.  A lot of us have water tanks for example so even if the power goes off we can actually access water if need be.  We should also have a good supply of food on hand  especially if we live some distance from town.   However we should never become complacent about emergency preparedness wherever we live. The lesson as I lay awake thinking about what I would need at that moment if something happened was a bit of a wake up call to take our emergency plans away from theory and into the actual.  We don’t always know what the emergency will be so be prepared as far as you can and make sure those you care for are also ready.

For more information go to this link.

https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/