Quake has silver lining for some
More than a month after from the Christchurch earthquake survival kit orders remain steady with Survive-It Ltd.
The Plimmerton-based company specialises in survival kits for natural disasters, from backpack-sized up to massive storage cabinets for businesses. They have been operating for more than five years.
Director Rod Hall says their website went ‘‘completely mad’’ the day of the earth- quake, September 4, and the day after, with a month’s worth of kits sold each day. They were forced to doublestaff to cope and use another supplier for their water bottles as their original supplier could not cope with the demand.
The food ration sector of their business came under particular pressure.
‘‘On days three and four [following the quake] our website’s orders were doing four months’ worth each day. We had these levels for two solid weeks, it was absolutely crazy. This earthquake has been a massive wake-up call for a lot of people.’’
Although there has now been a little tapering off, the demand for Survive-It staff to speak in workplaces and for community groups remains very high, Mr Hall says.
Wellington residents have ‘‘sat up and seen’’ what happened down south and many have taken action.
‘‘We always get a spike in business when you get an earthquake or natural disaster anywhere else in the world but following Christchurch we had the biggest response ever. There is so much panic buying going on because they’ve seen something occur so close to home.
‘‘Yes, it’s been good for business, but this has been about building that awareness as well that people need to be ready.’’
Last week was Disaster Awareness Week, ensuring the ‘‘ be prepared’’ mantra remained prominent.
Wellington has different issues than Christchurch to contend with should a major disaster strike, Mr Hall says. His chief advice: have a plan.
‘‘If the roads are out and the phones are out, how do you get to your family? Do you have the equipment and supplies to survive? Does your workplace have enough water? Does your child’s school have a survival plan? Everything starts with a plan.’’
Kerry McSaveney from Porirua City Council’s emergency management team says they sold out of water containers. Phone enquiries, on everything from survival kits to building an emergency toilet, ‘‘ skyrocketed’’ in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. All they can do is keep up the public education and continue talking to community groups about how to be better prepared should ‘‘the big one’’ strike.
This week Ms McSaveney and her colleagues will be part of a national exercise to ensure their co-ordination efforts with other agencies during a civil emergency is up to scratch.
Visit survive-it. co. nz for individual, household and workplace kits and pcc.govt.nz (type in ‘‘ emergency management’’) for a 12-page guide on what you need to be prepared.