Pre­par­ing home for emer­gen­cies

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

Isn’t it an­noy­ing when that last light­bulb blows, the fridge stops work­ing for no ap­par­ent rea­son, and the toi­let gets clogged and can’t flush for...well you know what kind of rea­son!?

These an­noy­ances are sim­i­lar to what can hap­pen af­ter an emer­gency – power cuts, wa­ter out­ages, and sewer sys­tems dam­aged. But they can last much longer.

You and your com­mu­nity could be iso­lated for at least three days, pos­si­bly more. In an emer­gency, our util­i­ties and emer­gency ser­vices will ini­tially be fo­cused on sav­ing lives and restor­ing essen­tial ser­vices.

We all know we need food and wa­ter stocks, but what about mak­ing sure your home is okay. The prepa­ra­tions you make now at your home for these types of dis­rup­tions are essen­tial for cop­ing safely and com­fort­ably fol­low­ing an emer­gency.

Over the years, many of our homes have en­dured a lot of stan­dard ex­treme weather and ques­tion­able DIY im­prove­ments which could af­fect how your home copes with an earth­quake, storm, or even those very windy Welling­ton days we’ve had re­cently.

There are some key ac­tions you can do to make your home safer and stur­dier. Check the foun­da­tions be­low your house - have there been any ex­ca­va­tion around the piles? Se­cure hot wa­ter cylin­ders, free-stand­ing wood burn­ers and heavy or tall fur­ni­ture. Check brick chim­neys are prop­erly se­cured, and if not in use, con­sider re­mov­ing them.

If you are un­able to do this your­self, get some­one to as­sist you or ask your land­lord to check out the safety of your home. EQC have some great in­for­ma­tion on their web­site, eqc.govt.nz, and our 12-step house­hold plan, It’s Easy, can help you through some of these checks - get­pre­pared.org.nz/ house­holds

Af­ter a large earth­quake, do not flush your toi­let be­cause the sew­er­age sys­tem may be bro­ken. A sim­ple emer­gency toi­let can be made us­ing two buck­ets and a tem­po­rary toi­let seat. Now is also a great time to spend a few min­utes think­ing about what you can do with your ‘doo doos’ when you need to go af­ter an emer­gency - get­pre­pared.org.nz/toi­lets

RE­MEM­BER

Get the con­nec­tion be­tween your house piles and the house checked

Se­cure heavy fur­ni­ture, or­na­ments and pictures/

An earth­quake can cause se­vere dam­age to your home. Make sure you take steps ahead of time to be pre­pared.

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