Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do in these situations.

Stuck at home

In most emergencies, it’s best to stay in your own home if it is safe to do so. But that may mean being without power and water or any way to get supplies for three days or more.

Do you have enough food and water? What about those who need medication? Do you have enough food and water for pets to get through too?

  • Your emergency supplies don’t have to be in a kit, but you might have to find them in the dark. Make sure everyone knows where the torches and batteries are.
  • If the power goes out, eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Then eat the food in the cupboard or your emergency kit.
  • Get to know your neighbours. In an emergency they may need your help or you may need their help, and you may be able to band together to get through.
  • Keep up to date with emergency information by checking your local council and/or Civil Defence Emergency Management Group's websites and social media. Follow the instructions of civil defence and emergency services.

Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do if you’re stuck at home.

Can't get home

In an emergency, public transport may not run, and roads and neighbourhoods may be blocked off. 

If you can’t take your normal route home, how will you get there? Who will you go with? Where will you meet if your street is a no-go zone? 

  • Agree on a meeting place if you can’t get home. It might be a school, a friend’s place or with whānau. 
  • If you work away from home, find workmates who live in your area. In an emergency you could travel together. 
  • Have a grab bag at work or in your car. It should have walking shoes, warm clothes, some snack food and a bottle of water. A torch, some batteries and a radio are useful too. 
  • Give your school or early childhood centre a list of three people who can pick the kids up if you can’t get there. 

Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do if you can’t get home. 

Have to evacuate

In an emergency, some houses, streets and neighbourhoods may not be safe to stay in and you may have to leave home in a hurry. 

If your street is evacuated where will you go? What will you take? What about pets? Do you have neighbours who might need your help? 

If you are told to evacuate, follow the evacuation advice. Evacuation advice overrides any COVID-19 Alert Level requirements to stay at home. 

Move immediately. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so. 

Wear a mask or face covering only if you can grab one quickly and it will not delay you leaving. 

  • Have a grab bag ready for everyone in your household. It should have warm clothes, a bottle of water, snacks, copies of important documents, and photo ID. Remember any medications you may need. Keep your first aid kit, torch, radio and batteries somewhere you can grab them in a hurry. Put a writing pad, pencils and a torch with batteries in your grab bag so you can communicate with others. 
  • Decide where you will go (and make sure everyone in your household knows, in case you’re not all together). Your evacuation place will probably be with friends or family, so make sure they know your plans. 
  • If you live in a tsunami evacuation zone, make sure your evacuation place is outside of the zone. 
  • If you have to leave home, take your pets with you. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them. Make sure your evacuation place will take your pets. Or have contact details for kennels, catteries and pet friendly motels. 

Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do if you have to evacuate. 

No power

What would you do if the power was out for days? How will you see, cook, keep warm? 

Power cuts could affect EFTPOS and ATM machines, so make sure you have some cash at home, or enough supplies to see you through three days or more. 

  • Your emergency supplies don’t have to be in a kit, but you might have to find them in the dark. Make sure everyone knows where the torches and batteries are. 
  • Have a stock of food that doesn’t need to be cooked (canned is good) or something to cook your food on (gas barbecue or camp stove). Don’t forget food for babies and pets. 
  • If the power goes out, eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Then eat the food in the cupboard or your emergency kit. 
  • Talk to your neighbours about what they’ll do if the power is out. You might find they have a gas barbecue and you have enough food and water to share (or the other way round). 

Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do if you have no power. 

No water

Imagine having no water for three days or more. How would you wash, cook, clean? What would you drink? 

Water supplies could be affected in an emergency. Have a supply of stored water for three days or more. 

  • Keep your empty water and fizzy drink bottles, give them a good clean and fill them with water. You need three litres of water for each person for each day that you are without water. Don’t use milk or fruit juice bottles. They are hard to clean and could make you sick. Don’t forget to store water for babies and pets too. 
  • You can keep stored drinking water for up to a year if you add non-scented household bleach. Use half a teaspoon for every ten litres of water and don’t drink it for at least half an hour after mixing. Label each bottle with the date it was filled. Store bottles in a cool, dark place. 
  • Remember to store water for cooking and cleaning as well. You can use the water in your hot water cylinder, but store some extra in large plastic containers. 
  • You can also fill plastic ice cream containers with water and keep them in the freezer. These can help keep food cool if the power is off and can also be used for drinking. 

Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do if you have no water. 

No phone or internet

What will you do if the phone and internet lines go down? How will you keep in touch, arrange to meet up or keep up with news and weather alerts? 

In most emergencies, it’s best to stay in your own home. Make your home your meeting place and have an alternative in case you can’t get there. 

  • Talk to your whānau about how you will get in touch and where you will meet in an emergency. 
  • Make sure you know your school or early childhood centre’s emergency plans. Give them names of three people who could pick the kids up if you can’t get there. 
  • Have an out-of-town contact that everyone knows about. Get everyone to check in with your out of town contact by text or online messaging in an emergency if you can. 
  • Keep a written list of important phone numbers. 

Understanding the impacts of an emergency can help you get through. Have a chat with the people in your household and work out what you’ll do if you have no phone or internet. 

Get your household ready

It’s up to you to make sure your household knows what to do and that you all have what you need to get through. Follow these easy steps to get your household ready.