Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being prepared

Deb posted the other day about prepardness in Christchurch. They have a series of TV ads here in NZ "Getting through" - how to get your family prepared for that 'it'll never happen to us' natural disaster event. It was always so academic, those things you will get around to organising "one day".

I doubt anyone in Christchurch doesn't have bottled water on hand now.

I sorted out our laundry today as a premove job to get off my list, and repacked our emergency supplies that were stored in there.

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Power cuts are a delightful side effect of a big shake. I never really thought about that before - or perhaps imagined a few hours without electricity at most. Ha.
Torches (dont forget the batteries) and candles if we get truly desperate (a candle falling over in an after shock isnt a great thought). I picked up 3 dynamo torches for the kids at Mitre 10 for about $4 each. EXCELLENT! They dont require batteries and "recharging" them keeps the kids entertained. A lantern is also a good idea so you can have your hands free. Actually we have more torches but they are stashed next to all our beds at the moment. Not pictured but I also have some of those flashing glow in the dark necklaces for ease of seeing where the kids are in the dark. One thing I have learnt for sure is that earthquakes dont stick to business hours and there is nothing scarier than having your house shaking in complete darkness.

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"Personal supplies" are important. When there is no water you want hand sanitizer for hands and wipes for sticky hands and wiping benches etc. When the water does come back on it might be contaminated with sewerage (ugh). Bleach can be used to treat tap water in lieu of boiling if you have to. Face masks for liquefaction turned to dust - something that would never ever have occured to me pre- February. There's also some soap and some "feminine supplies" just in case. Plus of course a first aid kit. Broken glass/crockery + night time = make sure you have band aids and bandages on hand.

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Keeping sane supplies are also a must. Some books for the kids, card games, some knitting for me of course (yarn, pattern + needles), some sugar (lollies and dried fruit), muesli bar snacks and some little coffee sachets. These actually belong in our "get out now" back pack if we had to relocate to a welfare/emergency accommodation shelter.

As well of course we have a couple of days supply of food including powdered milk and a can opener! Bottled water and means to cook (gas bottle - keep one full at all times - and a camping attachment that fits right on top of the bottle). Tarp plus bungee cords for emergency weather proofing. Spare batteries for the kids CD player that can get the radio - or use the car. If you have an electronic garage door like us make sure you know how to open it when the power is off.

Everything is all together in one place so there's no rushing around or trying to find a torch in the dark. It also means we have everything ready if its a day before grocery shop and the cupboards are bare.

One day (hopefully) I *will* stop posting about earthquakes. It is forefront in my mind today as the government announces which 5000 homes are to be declared "red zone" - aka the land is too unstable to be built on. There is a package of compensation for home owners and I hope that those affected will find some closure now that there is some certainty around the affected areas.

Deb also posted today these interesting stats - After shocks this year :
Haiti has had 42, Japan 726.......Christchurch 7000+


Edit. Actually its 7000 aftershocks/earthquakes since September 2010.


  1. gosh, I got shivers up my spine when I read those aftershock stats. That's just bloddy awful. I was thinking to myself that I'm glad I don't live in a quake zone and so don't need to have a vast emergency kit like yours. But you never know do you. I must put something together. And also find my passport, because that's the sort of thing you always need at short notice and I have no idea where it is.

  2. 7000????

    It reminds me of the Canberra bushfires in 2003 and how we got together a little pack of things, not really taking seriously that we might HAVE to go. We've had a little transistor radio ever since though because we did find that very useful when the power went out.

    One day, I hope you can put all that stuff away and feel safer.

  3. sweet jesus... that's insane!