Dis­as­ter ready

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

At least one per­son in Porirua has ap­pre­ci­ated rainy days this sum­mer – Porirua City coun­cil­lor Anita Baker – whose new 1000- litre emer­gency rain­wa­ter tank filled within days of be­ing in­stalled af­ter Christ­mas.

Like most peo­ple, Ms Baker was only min­i­mally pre­pared for a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter be­fore tak­ing over the coun­cil’s emer­gency man­age­ment port­fo­lio last year. But sit­ting in meet­ings dis­cussing the af­ter­math of an earth­quake or tsunami in Welling­ton spurred her into ac­tion. With her 1000-litre tank Ms Baker is now among Porirua’s most pre­pared res­i­dents in case of dis­as­ter. ‘‘ My col­leagues have told me they know where to come if any­thing hap­pens,’’ she says.

While coun­cil rec­om­mends res­i­dents store three to five days’ water for a dis­as­ter, up to five weeks’ worth of water could be needed, Ms Baker says.

Three litres per per­son per day is the min­i­mum peo­ple need, but in ev­ery­day life peo­ple use much more – on av­er­age 15 litres per day when flush­ing toi­lets and cook­ing is fac­tored in, Ms Baker says.

Most peo­ple as­sume the coun­cil will look af­ter res­i­dents in an emer­gency, but that’s just not the case, Ms Baker says – when it comes to water and food peo­ple are on their own.

‘‘I don’t think peo­ple are pre­pared. They tell me they’ve got a can of food or 10 litres of water.’’

Water was de­liv­ered quickly to Christchurch af­ter its Fe­bru­ary 22 earth­quake, but 15 roads lead into that city, whereas Porirua has only three points of ac­cess for res­cuers – from Welling­ton, the Hutt or Kapiti, she says.

Ms Baker bought her tank off Trade Me, and had it in­stalled for $1200. The tank it­self was only $499, how­ever.

‘‘If you were a handy per­son or had a hus­band who was handy, you could do it for much cheaper.’’

Wa­ter­tight: Porirua City Coun­cil’s emer­gency man­age­ment spokes­woman Anita Baker has in­stalled a 1000-litre rain­wa­ter tank at her home, as she be­lieves res­i­dents could be with­out water for up to five weeks in the af­ter­math of a dis­as­ter.

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