Every household’s plan will be different, because of where we live, who lives with us and who might need our help.

When you’re making your household plan, remember to include everyone. Think about the requirements of disabled people, older people, babies, young children, pets and other animals.

Caring for babies in an emergency 

Every household’s plan will be different, because of where we live, who lives with us and who might need our help. 

Babies need special care and attention in an emergency. Babies are more at risk of becoming dehydrated or getting an infection. They need special care and attention in an emergency. 

In an emergency, roads and shops may be closed for three days or more. You’ll need to have supplies to get your baby through.  

  • Disposable nappies 
  • Baby wipes 
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser 
  • Rubbish bags for dirty nappies 
  • Any medicines or creams your baby needs 
  • Disposable gloves 
  • Spare clothes, a blanket or special toy 

Make sure you also have supplies for your baby in a grab bag, in case you need to leave home in a hurry. 

If your baby often stays with family or carers, have some emergency supplies at their place as well as at home. 

External link
Ministry of Health logo

During an emergency normal daily life is disrupted and people may need to leave their homes. This can be particularly difficult for mothers and people caring for babies.

The Ministry of Health has advice on feeding your baby in an emergency for both breastfed and formula-fed babies.

Caring for young children in an emergency 

Every household’s plan will be different, because of where we live, who lives with us and who might need our help. 

Young children need special care and attention in an emergency. You can involve young children in planning for an emergency by giving them small tasks to do. For example, get them to check the date on your stored water or test the torch is working. 

Talk to them in an honest, but not scary, way about: 

  • what might happen in an emergency 
  • what you can do to keep safe, and 
  • what your plan is if you can’t get home.  

This can help to reduce fear and anxiety and helps everyone know how to respond. 

The more involved they are, the less scared they will be when an emergency does happen. 

Make sure you have supplies for young children in a grab bag in case you have to leave home in a hurry. The grab bag should have warm clothing, water and snack food, and a favourite toy or game to keep them occupied. 

External link
Ministry of Health logo

Children have their own ways of dealing with trauma according to their stage of development. The Ministry of Health has guidelines on helping children deal with trauma.

Plan for your pets and other animals

Your animals are your responsibility. You need to include them in your emergency planning and preparation. 

  • Store have enough food, water and supplies for your animals for three days or more. Remember that animals often drink more water than usual when under stress. 
  • Make sure you microchip your pets. Register them with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR). Keep these details up to date and include details for an out-of-region contact. 
  • Review your pet insurance policy to see if it covers emergencies. 
  • If you need to evacuate, 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. 
External link
Ministry for Primary Industries logo

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has advice for preparing a plan for your animals. It includes checklists for different types of animals and different emergencies. Work through the checklists to develop your plan.

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.