Preparing home for emergencies
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
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.