Plenty of warnings for earthquake preparedness
What does it take for people to get ready for the next big disaster? This week’s message from the council’s new emergency centre was loud and clear, but was something we have all heard before ... get ready, for goodness sakes.
Paul Martin, the man in charge during a Porirua disaster, has virtually begged people to have emergency supplies ready and to think for themselves because they cannot, and should not, rely on sirens or alerts or saviours immediately after an earthquake.
His message was: Porirua people will die in a locally sourced tsunami if they do not evacuate.
In a big quake residents MUST evacuate. There won’t be time for sirens. People must be responsible for their own safety.
A petition for sirens to be placed along the coast sprung up on social media last week but people in tsunami zones shouldn’t require a siren.
How do you know if you’re in a danger zone? On Porirua Council’s website you can enter your address and it will tell you - it couldn’t be easier. Do it now.
People like Martin must wring their hands to know that, despite the Christchurch earthquakes, despite the Kaikoura earthquake, despite the Wellington chaos, people are still not ready.
We’ve seen the news stories, the advertisements and heard the interviews yet still people aren’t heeding the warnings - why not?
After every big quake there’s a run on tinned food and bottled water. Porirua council sold out of water tanks and have ordered more to meet the demand of residents spurred to prepare for the ‘‘next big one’’ but you have to wonder why there was such a rush.
It’s not hard to store water. Empty fizzy drink and juice containers can be rinsed out, filled with water and kept for at least a year before they need to be filled again.
A few tins of baked beans and spaghetti, which often sell for under a dollar, can be added to the weekly shop then stored at the back of the pantry.
The experts say help will come eventually but it won’t be immediate and residents must not rely on it.
Are people planning to sit and wait for rescue or are they depending on the charity of their neighbours to share supplies they’ve set aside for their own survival.
You are risking your life, the lives of your loved ones and the lives of the people who will have to rescue you by not being prepared.
Be sensible. Do it now.