Braced for dis­as­ter

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Ev­ery fam­ily mem­ber needs to be pre­pared should dis­as­ter strike – even the four-legged va­ri­ety.

This was one of the mes­sages from the emer­gency pre­pared­ness work­shops hosted by the Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints in Taka­puwahia re­cently.

More than 120 peo­ple at­tended the event on Septem­ber 25. Porirua City emer­gency man­age­ment team, Trevor Farmer and Kerry McSaveney, shared prac­ti­cal tips on what to do in a dis­as­ter and how to get ready.

Mr Farmer’s mes­sage was ur­gent: ‘‘You need to get ready for any emer­gency. As a fam­ily you need to get ready for emer­gen­cies at home, at school and at work.’’

At work or school, peo­ple should have drink­ing wa­ter – at least three litres per per­son per day – ready-to-eat food sup­plies, foot- wear to walk home in, a wind/ wa­ter proof jacket, a hat and a small first aid kit, he said.

‘‘At home you need an al­ter­na­tive way to cook food and boil wa­ter. Most of all you need to have a plan that ev­ery­one in your fam­ily knows and that they each un­der­stand what they will do.’’

Other pre­sen­ters in­cluded Ken Birdling, area man­ager for Red Cross, who spoke of his Christchurch ex­pe­ri­ence and the role of vol­un­teers.

ANZ pro­vided ad­vice on in­surance cover and church mem­ber Janet King rammed home the adage: ‘‘Use it up, wear it out; do it up or do with­out’’.

She said, ‘‘You don’t have to go to the camp­ing shops.

‘‘They can be ex­pen­sive. Just make your list, pray about it, and then go look­ing for what you need. Garage sales, shop sales, or re­cy­cle. You will be sur­prised at what you find, for cheap.’’

Ms King has en­sured the fam­ily pets are ready too.

Her cat has a small house with sup­plies in it in case of an emer­gency, be­cause ‘‘the cat won’t fol­low us’’. She has also made a 72-hour vest for the fam­ily dog, filled with sup­plies.

‘‘Siege goes ev­ery­where with us. On hol­i­days, ev­ery­where, so we had to make sure she was ready too.’’

Event or­gan­iser Ta­nia Torea was pleased with the re­sponse to emer­gency plan­ning.

‘‘There is an ex­cite­ment. Peo­ple are think­ing about be­ing pre­pared as a nor­mal part of their daily ac­tiv­ity. One fam­ily called a spe­cial meet­ing a few days later to re­view their emer­gency kits and to put into place a plan, to en­sure their fam­ily would be safe if, say, an earth­quake hit Porirua dur­ing a work­ing day.’’

The day af­ter at­tend­ing the work­shops, one woman was drink­ing a soft drink and was go­ing to throw the plas­tic bot­tle away, but then re­alised the size would be per­fect for wa­ter stor­age for her tod­dler’s 72-hour back­pack, said Ms Torea.

‘‘That think­ing was new for her, and she was sur­prised at how sim­ple it was to do some­thing to pre­pare.’’

The ‘‘It’s Easy’’ emer­gency pre­pared­ness guide was dis­trib­uted to at­ten­dees. Copies can be down­loaded at pcc.govt.nz or con­tact the Porirua Emer­gency Man­age­ment Of­fice on 237 5089.

One pre­pared pooch: Janet King and her dog Siege show off her home-made sur­vival jacket. They are pic­tured with Porirua City Coun­cil emer­gency man­age­ment of­fi­cer Kerry McSaveney.

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