Be pre­pared when dis­as­ter strikes

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

If dis­as­ter strikes Auck­land, Ardis Cochrane and her fam­ily will know what to do.

The Mt Al­bert woman has enough food and wa­ter stored to keep her fam­ily fed for three days, along with torches, can­dles, matches, a ra­dio, phone and other emer­gency es­sen­tials.

“The kids know what they are sup­posed to do if they are away from home when a dis­as­ter strikes,” she says.

But Ms Cochrane is in the mi­nor­ity when it comes to be­ing ready for the worst.

Re­cent re­search shows nearly 60 per­cent of Auck­lan­ders are not prop­erly pre­pared for a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter.

To­day is In­ter­na­tional Day for Dis­as­ter Re­duc­tion, which is part of Dis­as­ter Aware­ness Week.

The Auck­land Civil De­fence and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Group want more peo­ple to fol­low Ms Cochrane’s ex­am­ple.

Group con­troller Harry O’Rourke says many peo­ple think they will never face an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion in Auck­land.

“The pos­si­bil­ity of an emer­gency, whether that be caused by the weather, a vol­canic erup­tion or man-made dis­as­ter, should never be dis­missed.”

Ms Cochrane’s in­ter­est in dis­as­ter prepa­ra­tion came from read­ing the SAS Sur­vival Hand­book.

“It’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing. The city is built on vol­ca­noes so it’s a mat­ter of when rather than if some­thing is go­ing to hap­pen.”

The hand­book gave her ideas on how to build shelters, find ed­i­ble plants and trap an­i­mals for sur­vival.

Her 13-year-old son Tal Bud­vi­etas is also a fan of the book, and both he and eight-year-old brother Gav know how to act in an emer­gency.

“We know where to go in the event of a fire and which win­dows to jump out of.

“For the rest, the as­sump­tion is we would be able to meet up and come up with a plan,” says Tal.

Ms Cochrane checks her sur­vival stores about once a year and makes sure she re­places the food and wa­ter as needed.

For more in­for­ma­tion on be­ing pre­pared, go to www.auck­land.cdemg.org.nz or www.get­thru.govt.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Well pre­pared: From left: Tal Bud­vi­etas, 13, his mother Ardis Cochrane and brother Gav Bud­vi­etas, 8, with some of their dis­as­ter sup­plies.

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