If you, or a member of your household, has a disability or any special requirements that may affect your/their ability to cope in an emergency, follow these steps to get ready.
In an emergency, civil defence and emergency services will be busy helping the people who need them most. It’s up to you to ensure you get ready and that may mean having medical supplies or backup power systems, or doing whatever you need to get you through for three days or more.
How will an emergency affect you? What if the roads are closed; the shops are closed; there is no power, water, phone or internet; or you have to leave home in a hurry?
Talk with your household and your support network about the types of supplies you might need, the support you need and where you will go if you can’t stay at home.
Make a plan to get through an emergency.
Build a support team of people who will help you in an emergency, before you need them. The first people to assist in an emergency are often your neighbours, friends, caregivers and co-workers. They should be people who are regularly in the same area as you.
Get to know your neighbours. Share contact details so you can get in touch if an emergency occurs. Tell them about your emergency plan and ask about their plans.
Do not depend on one person. That person may not be able to contact you or be available when you need them, so it is important that your support team includes other people.
Your support network can help you get ready for an emergency, e.g. by helping you with evaluating your home or workplace to make sure they are safe and suitable.
Build a support team at each place where you spend a large part of your day (work, home, school) and work with them to create a needs assessment. This can help your network members learn the best way to assist you and offer additional ideas for you to think about.
Practice your plan with your support network, including how you will Drop, Cover and Hold in an earthquake and how you will evacuate if you are in a tsunami or flood zone.
You need to agree on how you will contact each other during an emergency, including if internet and phone lines are down.
Arrange with your network to check on you immediately if civil defence and emergency services have advised people in your area to evacuate.
In an emergency, roads and shops could be closed for days. Make sure you have supplies, including any medicine and special items you need, for at least seven days.
If you use a walker or wheelchair, Lock, Cover and Hold.
LOCK your wheels (if applicable). If using a walker carefully get as low as possible.
Bend over and COVER your head and neck as best you can.
Then HOLD on until the shaking stops.
Download and print these posters in English on what to do in an earthquake. Put them up in your home, school, work or community space.
Remember to Drop, Cover and Hold in an earthquake. If you use a walker or wheelchair, Lock, Cover and Hold.
Find your local Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.
Deaf Aotearoa have services available for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
Information on the hazards we face in New Zealand and advice on what to do to be better prepared is presented in New Zealand Sign Language and captions in a series of videos available on YouTube.
Watch these New Zealand Sign Language videos on hazards and emergencies in New Zealand.
You may have to depend on others if you have to evacuate or go to an unfamiliar Civil Defence Centre.
If you have an assistance dog, such as a guide dog, ensure it is certified with an authorised organisation, such as Blind Low Vision NZ.
Get a Disability Assist Dog identification tag — a unique tag worn by a certified dog to provide easy identification of Disability Assist Dog status. Ensure the dog is wearing its identification tag at all times. The tag enables access for service dogs to civil defence centres in an emergency, and will also support rapid reunification if the dog and handler become separated.
Plan for your dog. Have a grab bag for your disability assist dog with food, medications, vaccination records, identification and harnesses.
If you use a cane, Drop, Cover and Hold or sit on a chair, bed, etc. and cover your head and neck with both hands.
Keep your cane near you so you can use it when the shaking stops.
The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind has advice on earthquake preparedness for blind or partially sighted people.
Listen to audio recordings about the hazards we face in New Zealand and emergency preparedness.
Listen to these audio recordings for people with sight impairment about emergency preparedness.
Listen to these audio recordings for people with sight impairment about different hazards.
Listen to these audio recordings about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in (Farsi) فارسی about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in हिन्दी (Hindi) about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in 日本語 (Japanese) about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in 한국어 (Korean) about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese) about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in नेपाली (Nepali) about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in Gagana Samoa (Samoan) about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in Tagalog about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Listen to these audio recordings in Te Reo Māori about how to get prepared for an emergency.
Find advice in عربي (Arabic) for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in Te Reo Māori for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in हिन्दी (Hindi) for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in 한국어 (Korean) for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in Gagana Samoa for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese) for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in Lea Faka-Tonga (Tongan) for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Find advice in 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese) for people with special requirements on Get Ready, Get Thru.
Download, print and share our Drop, Cover and Hold posters showing what to do in an earthquake. Remember to Drop, Cover and Hold, or if you use a walker or wheelchair, Lock, Cover and Hold.