Steps to get ready
Talk about how an emergency could affect you
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 personal support network
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.
Make sure you have any special supplies you may need
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 your medical supplies need to be refrigerated, make sure you have an alternative power supply or refrigeration system.
- Wear a medical alert tag or bracelet to identify your disability or health condition.
- Work out what supplies you need. Have essential supplies in a grab bag in case you need to leave in a hurry.
- If you are traveling, let a hotel or motel manager know of your requirements in case of an emergency.
- Know where to go for assistance if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment, which may not operate in an emergency.
- If you have special dietary requirements, or severe food allergies, make sure you have enough food for up to seven days. You should also include suitable snack food in your grab bag and make sure your meeting place is well stocked with long-lasting, suitable foods (this may be a friend or relative’s home that is out of a tsunami or flood zone).
- If you have asthma or a respiratory disorder, make sure your grab bag has dust masks (rated P2 or N95). You may find that emergencies like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes make it harder to breathe.