Grab-bags at the ready just in case

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

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.

Photo: DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

Olivia Dovey knows the im­por­tance of be­ing pre­pared.

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