We can't predict disasters, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Find out what you can do to make your home safer.

How to make your home safer

You can take steps to help reduce the effects of an emergency on you and your property.

  • Use brackets or straps to secure tall and heavy furniture into wall studs.
  • Move heavy and fragile items to shelves or cupboards lower down.
  • Hang pictures and mirrors on appropriate hooks (no single nails).
  • Make sure you know the location of emergency cut-off switches and taps for gas and water mains.
  • Some brick and concrete chimneys are at greater risk of collapsing in an earthquake. Check the Earthquake Commission's website for more information about how to make chimneys safer.
  • If your home has suspended floor foundations, check that they're in good condition. Check that good connections are in place between the foundations and house above.

In February 2021, there were changes to New Zealand's Residential Tenancy Act. These changes make it easier for renters to quake safe their homes. If you're a renter and want to quake safe your home, make sure you talk to your landlord or property manager first.

Earthquake Commission logo

For information on how to prepare your home and protect your whānau, visit the Be Prepared section of the Earthquake Commission's website.

Check your insurance

Having insurance cover for your home and contents is really important to help you get back on your feet if you suffer damage in a disaster. Plus, having a private home insurance policy that includes fire cover (most do) means you automatically qualify for EQC's insurance product, EQCover.

It's important to review your insurance regularly. Some key things to check are:

  • What your insurance policy covers, as well as what it doesn't cover.
  • If you have enough insurance cover to rebuild your home and replace your valuables after an emergency.

If you suffer damage from a natural hazard, remember to take plenty of photos. Then get in touch with your private insurer to make a claim. They'll assess, manage and settle your entire claim on behalf of EQC, including the EQCover part.

Earthquake Commission logo

If your property is damaged in an emergency, take photos of any damage to support your insurance claim. Find advice on taking photos to support your claim on the Earthquake Commission's website.

Get your household ready

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