Grab-bags at the ready just in case
No matter what city Olivia Dovey lives in, she knows she will always be prepared.
The former Cantabrian lives in Pukerua Bay these days.
But in 2010 and 2011 she was living in Christchurch and suffered through the two major earthquakes, the second of which killed 185 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
Dovey said she was unprepared beforehand, but now understood how important it was to have survival kits at home and at work.
‘‘ It’s something every family and workplace should have.
‘‘You need to be prepared,’’ she said.
Dovey’s emergency kit is the one she had through the Christchurch earthquakes.
It was packed up when she moved to Wellington in April, and remains under her desk at Porirua City Council.
‘‘We had to be prepared. Everyone did.
‘‘Even if you went out for lunch you took your kit.’’
Dovey said her work survival kit did contained the ‘‘ bare minimum’’ and was only there to help her get home.
‘‘There’s a first aid kit in there, spare clothes, food, toilet paper, and walking shoes. It would probably last me about 24 hours.’’
At home, Dovey runs a full pantry but has first aid kits, torches and batteries, toilet paper, ample food and water, and other useful items in her family’s survival kit. Nappies and baby food are also included because of her young family.
Dovey said having an emergency plan was also essential.
‘‘It’s important to know what the arrangements are with your family and where you will head if there is a disaster.
‘‘It’s also about being prepared yourself, and the recent floods were a good reminder of this.’’
Trevor Farmer, who has worked in emergency management for nearly 10 years, said what people didn’t quite understand was that an emergency kit is only the start.
‘‘Yes, an emergency kit is there to get you through some stuff, but make other arrangements. In an emergency, you’re going to have to be prepared not to go home,’’ Farmer said. ‘‘That’s the sort of thinking we want people to have. Having a grab- bag [ emergency kit] is great, as is having a first aid certificate, but you need to have plans for if there is an emergency.’’
Farmer said his son lived in Wadestown and that if he was unable to get home that was where he would go. He said key items that should be in a grab-bag were appropriate footwear, a windbreaker, food and a torch.
Former Tawa resident Shenah Rowe said she felt she would also be prepared if something happened and said her survival kit was huge.
Rowe’s kit consists of tents, air beds, camp stretchers, sleeping bags, multiple gas barbecues, nonperishable food, water, 10 medical kits, a wind-up torch that is also a radio and can be used to charge mobile phones, as well as some small solar panels that can be used to power or charge things.
Her family keep chickens and goats that could be used for food.
Olivia Dovey knows the importance of being prepared.