Impact 1: Stuck at home

Izzy standing on a pile of cansIn 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.

What actions should you take?

Do you have enough food? What about family members who need medication? Do you have enough food for pets to get through too?

Light up

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.

Fridge first

If the power goes out, eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer, before you eat the food in the cupboard or your emergency kit.

Know your neighbours

Get to know your neighbours. In an emergency they may need your help or you may need their help. You may be able to band together to get through.

Impact 2: Can’t get home

In an emergency, trains and buses may not be able to operate, roads may be closed and streets or neighbourhoods might be blocked off.

What actions should you take?

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

Second meeting place

Agree on a meeting place if you can’t get home. It might be your school, a friend’s place or with whānau.

Know your numbers

Make sure family members know how to contact each other and emergency services.

Pack a grab bag

Have a grab bag with walking shoes, warm clothes, some snack food and a bottle of water. A torch, batteries and radio are useful too.

Impact 3: 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.

What actions should you take?

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

Pack a grab bag

Have a grab bag ready for everyone in your family with warm clothes, a bottle of water, snacks, copies of important documents and photo ID. Remember any medications you might need and keep your first aid kit, torch, radio and batteries somewhere you can grab them in a hurry.

Decide where to go

Decide where you will go (and make sure everyone in your family 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.

Check your zone

If you live in a tsunami evacuation zone, make sure your evacuation place is outside of the zone.

Impact 4: No power

What would you do if the power was out for days? 

How will you see, cook, keep warm?

What action should you take?

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

Light up

Make sure you have torches and batteries, either in your emergency kit or somewhere everyone can find them in the dark.

Stay tuned in

Have a solar or battery-powered radio so you can keep up with the latest news and alerts. Know which radio stations to tune in to for information during an emergency.

Stock up

Have a stock of food that doesn’t need to be cooked (canned is good) or something to cook your food on (BBQ, camp stove). Don’t forget food for babies and pets.

Fridge first

If the power goes out, eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer, before you eat the food in the cupboard or your emergency kit.

Impact 5: No water

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

What would you drink?

What actions should you take?

Water cuts could affect your daily life, so make sure you have enough bottled water at home to see you through three days or more.

Bottling water

Keep your empty water, juice and fizzy drink bottles. Give them a good clean and fill them with water. You will need at least three litres of water for each person for each day that you are without water (three days or more). Don’t forget to store water for babies and pets too.

Long-term water storage

You can keep stored drinking water for up to a year if you add non-scented household bleach (half a teaspoon for every ten litres of water and don’t drink for at least half an hour after mixing).

Stay fed and washed

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.

Impact 6: No phone or internet

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

What actions should you take?

If the phone and internet lines were down, how would you keep in touch, arrange to meet up, keep up with news and weather alerts?

Plan a meeting point

Talk to your family about how you will get in touch and where you will meet up if phone or internet lines are down.

Know the school emergency plans

Make sure your family knows your school's emergency plans and has names of three people who could pick you up.

Stay tuned in

Have a solar or battery-powered radio so you can tune in to the latest news for information during an emergency.

Out-of-town contact

Have an out-of-town contact that everyone knows about (sometimes when local phone lines are down you can still reach people outside your area). Get everyone to check in with your out-of-town contact by text or online messaging in an emergency if you can.

Keep a list

Keep a written list of important phone numbers.

Impact 7: Damage to your home

Certain objects in your home can cause damage or injury during an earthquake. Lessen the impact of falling items by taking action before an earthquake hits.

What actions should you take?

We can't predict earthquakes, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Fix. Fasten. Don’t Forget. and make your place safer today.

Give your home a check-up

Help your whānau to check around your home for items that could topple or shift in an earthquake or other natural disaster. Look for tall and heavy furniture, brick and concrete chimneys, unsecured hot water cylinders and appliances, and valuables that might break or move.

Get supplies

Your local hardware shop will have what you need to fix and fasten most items in and around your home. Brackets and other fasteners will be needed for bigger items, but even something as simple as blu-tack will help you secure smaller valuables. Make sure you have secure hooks for picture frames too.

Fix and Fasten

It doesn’t take that long to fix and fasten items that could become dangerous, but it will help keep you and your whānau safer in a quake. If there are any larger fixes you can’t do yourself, talk to a builder or tradesperson.

Always remember to have an adult present and to wear appropriate safety gear when using tools.

Earthquake Commission logo

Visit the Earthquake Commission's website for more information on making your home safer.