Timely earth­quakes?

Com­pla­cency set­ting in

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

The spate of earth­quakes in the Welling­ton re­gion over the past few days may have a pos­i­tive spinoff as res­i­dents rush to top up their emer­gency prepa­ra­tions.

Iron­i­cally, the earth­quakes struck just as a sur­vey re­vealed that the num­ber of Porirua peo­ple pre­pared for a nat­u­ral disas­ter had dropped steadily over the past two years.

Trevor Farmer, Porirua City Coun­cil’s emer­gency man­age­ment of­fi­cer, said he was not sur­prised com­pla­cency was set­ting in over emer­gency prepa­ra­tions.

He said that in the wake of the Christchurch earth­quakes, there was a clam­our to buy sur­vival items and get plans in place.

He said a tail- off and com­pla­cency were in­evitable.

‘‘ This is the re­al­ity of what oc­curs,’’ he said last week.

‘‘The quakes were two years ago.

‘‘I would think af­ter the [June] storms, with all the power out­ages, and the earth­quakes over the week­end, that fig­ure of 62 per cent will climb again.

‘‘It never hurts to ham­mer home the need to be pre­pared.’’

Fig­ures from the coun­cil’s an­nual res­i­dents’ sur­vey, re­leased last week, re­veal that 62 per cent per cent of those asked said they had sur­vival items, a house­hold emer­gency plan, and enough food and wa­ter for three days.

That com­pared to 75 per cent in 2011 and 67 per cent last year, but was still higher than the 56 per cent who said they were pre­pared in 2010.

‘‘ Peo­ple have to re­alise they need to help them­selves if a disas- ter hits. The au­thor­i­ties may not be able to get to them,’’ Mr Farmer said. He said he would love to have the ci­ty­wide an­nual num­ber at 75 per cent.

Peo­ple in the north­ern (74 per cent) and western (59 per cent) parts of Porirua were most pre­pared.

Just 48 per cent of res­i­dents in the east said they were ready.

Those most likely to say they had nec­es­sary sur­vival items and a house­hold emer­gency plan were aged over 40, Euro­pean, ratepay­ers and in a house­hold earn­ing more than $40,000 a year.

Mr Farmer put a twist on those statis­tics.

‘‘I’m not too con­cerned about Porirua East. They have a great sense of com­mu­nity there and are more likely to know their neigh­bours.

‘‘In the north or west, there might be more meet­ings, bet­ter tech­nol­ogy and more cash, but in the east you have strong churches, sport and other groups.’’

Mr Farmer said it was in­ter­est­ing to hear re­ac­tions to the re­cent earth­quakes, with shel­ter­ing un­der desks com­mon.

Some work­ers ran out­side, a big no-no. Most peo­ple knew to brace them­selves in a door­way, he said.

For more sur­vey sto­ries, see page 4.

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