Be ready for emer­gen­cies

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - MIKE BAIN

The re­gion is no stranger to ad­verse weather events which cause dis­rup­tions.

Who in South Aus­tralia would even con­tem­plate a storm would dis­rupt over a mil­lion peo­ple be­cause of a power out­age?

What about the res­i­dents of the Mata­mata area?

Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil Civil De­fence ad­viser Brian Hunter be­lieves emer­gency ser­vices are ready to re­spond to any emer­gency na­ture throws at it.

‘‘Emer­gen­cies can hap­pen any time, any­where and of­ten with­out warn­ing,’’ said Hunter.

‘‘Storms and floods are the the most likely cause of an emer­gency in this area.

‘‘You need to know how to get through on your own be­cause in an emer­gency, civil de­fence and emer­gency ser­vices and will be busy help­ing those most in need.’’

Hunter is urg­ing fam­i­lies to make a plan so peo­ple know what to do if they can’t get home, can’t con­tact one an­other, or can’t get to school to pick the kids up.

It was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber emer­gen­cies won’t al­ways hap­pen when you’re at home

Hunter says there are a few sim­ple steps peo­ple can take to en­sure their safety.

‘‘Write down a lo­cal and out of town lo­ca­tion where you will meet if you can’t get home. Dis­as­ters can strike any­where.’’

‘‘In an emer­gency you may not be able to con­tact your fam­ily. Choose some­one out of town that you can all call to check in with if you can’t reach each other.

‘‘Get in touch with your school and let them know a few peo­ple who can pick the kids up if you can’t get there.’’

Don’t forget to take a around and think of oth­ers.

Make note of any peo­ple who might need your help or could help you in an emer­gency - neigh­bours, grand­par­ents or friends.

The more you plan now and in­volve the fam­ily, the less scary it will be when there is an emer­gency. Hunter said the old days of a meet­ing place at schools or govern­ment build­ings are a thing of the past.

‘‘Lis­ten to the ra­dio for ad­vice on where an as­sem­bly point is at the time of the emer­gency.

‘‘Above all, make sure you are pre­pared,’’ he said. Find out more at www.waika­tore­gion­cdemg.govt.nz/ look

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