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.