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