Quake has sil­ver lin­ing for some

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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