Time to do home­work

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The find­ings of the Welling­ton Re­gion Emer­gency Man­age­ment pre­pared­ness sur­vey make for con­cern­ing read­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey of 937 peo­ple, Porirua is lag­ging be­hind other cities in the re­gion when it comes to pre­pared­ness for a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter.

It would be one thing if Hutt, Welling­ton and Kapiti res­i­dents were ex­tremely well-pre­pared and we were just ‘‘very well pre­pared’’ but some of the fig­ures for the most ba­sic tools of sur­vival – wa­ter, food and first aid – are very av­er­age.

Of course, af­ter read­ing the re­port I found my own level of pre­pared­ness want­ing in a mul­ti­tude of ar­eas. That wa­ter con­tainer in the cor­ner of my of­fice – I know I was sup­posed to empty it back in May and re­fill it with fresh wa­ter. But did I?

Some of the ex­pec­ta­tions of the emer­gency man­age­ment gu­rus are pretty am­bi­tious, if not un­re­al­is­tic. I’m not go­ing to dis­pute the rec­om­mended level of pre­pared­ness – it’s their area of ex­per­tise – but when you re­alise, say, how much wa­ter 15 litres a per­son for 10 days ac­tu­ally is, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing so many house­holds are fall­ing short.

Barely 40 per cent of Whitby-ites said they had enough stored wa­ter to get by for 10 days, and the fig­ure didn’t reach 60 per cent in any of our com­mu­ni­ties.

But we’re talk­ing about 200 three-litre bot­tles of wa­ter re­quired to meet the needs of a fam­ily of four.

This was noted in the sur­vey re­port, which felt the fig­ures were likely to be in­flated due to re­spon­dents fail­ing to ac­cu­rately quan­tify how much of the wet stuff was re­quired.

Bar­ring Whitby’s lack­lus­tre per­for­mance, there were few sur­prises in which of our neigh­bour­hoods strug­gled when it came to own­ing first aid kits, canned food and other es­sen­tial sup­plies. Af­ford­abil­ity re­mains a bar­rier and it must be ad­dressed.

And do we dare look closer? Do the house­holds with emer­gency sup­plies ac­tu­ally have qual­ity, com­pre­hen­sive stores? Or did they scoff at the thought of spend­ing a week’s wage on some­thing they may never use and in­stead pur­chase a bud­get­priced dinky kit that would ‘‘tick a box’’ but lit­tle else?

The most con­cern­ing stat of the sur­vey con­cerned the ac­tion of pre­pared­ness that doesn’t cost a cent; hav­ing a plan on where to meet fam­ily af­ter an earth­quake. Who gets the kids? Is Nana’s house more cen­tral than ours?

Given the num­ber of Porirua peo­ple who work in other cities and send their chil­dren to out-of-town schools, it’s alarm­ing that about half of our res­i­dents have made no such ar­range­ments.

Please, con­sider it your home­work tonight.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.