The big one: Are you ready?

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SAN­DRA AN­DREWS

Af­ter the Christchurch earth­quakes, many of us set up emer­gency kits, at home, un­der our desk at work, or in a back­pack in the car. We are pre­pared at home. Well, I thought we were – we have in­stalled a tank for wa­ter, have food in the pantry, a gas cooker, torch and a ra­dio.

Then the big storm hit last month.

Power was cut, but we were OK. We were ready, able to keep warm and have a hot drink un­til the power came back on and ev­ery­thing re­turned to nor­mal.

But other prob­lems re­vealed.

The phone was an is­sue – we could not make a call or re­ceive any be­cause our phone is con­nected to the power sup­ply.

So, on to my list of things to buy was an ‘‘old-fash­ioned phone’’, one that plugs di­rectly into the tele­phone jack and does not re­quire power.

We have a cell phone, which would have been OK if we had topped it up and been able to recharge it overnight.

An­other prob­lem was get­ting the car out of the garage (elec­tric garage opener) and not know­ing where to dis­en­gage the door and open it.

I de­cided I could catch a bus to work, ex­cept I had no cash and hadn’t seen a bus pass the house all morn­ing.

I ended up tak­ing a taxi af­ter en­sur­ing it would ac­cept eft­pos (lucky I had money in the bank,

were oth­er­wise that would have been an­other is­sue).

So, more things for my to-do list – put a small amount of cash aside, just in case, and find out how to work the garage door when the power is out.

At the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau on the Fri­day af­ter the storm, we re­ceived ques­tions about prob­lems like those I faced.

We all need to be more pre­pared for such events.

The big­gest les­son from the in­quiries was that not ev­ery­one has bat­tery ra­dios.

They are needed to keep up with what’s hap­pen­ing and where or who to ring if as­sis­tance is needed.

There are web­sites avail­able to ad­vise us about how to be pre­pared – get­thru.govt.nz for busi­nesses and also civilde­fence. govt.nz.

We can also pro­vide you with some good in­for­ma­tion at the

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau.

Storm warn­ing: The storm last month was a re­minder of how quickly Mother Na­ture can up­set our nor­mal daily rou­tines.

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