Plenty of warn­ings for earth­quake pre­pared­ness

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

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.

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