Quake a timely re­minder for us to be pre­pared

South Waikato News - - OPINION - By LOUISE UP­STON


The Can­ter­bury earth­quake has dev­as­tated Christchurch and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Fam­i­lies have been shaken phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally, and many have lost valu­able pos­ses­sions. Thou­sands of homes have been dam­aged – some be­yond re­pair.

Build­ings have col­lapsed, roads have been ripped apart, and peo­ple have been in­jured. It’s amaz­ing that no­body was killed.

Strong af­ter­shocks have left hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple with shat­tered nerves and lit­tle sleep.

But this dis­as­ter has shown us that in the worst of times, you see the best of New Zealand.

Fam­ily, friends, and neigh­bours are look­ing af­ter one an­other and mak­ing sure that all those in the com­mu­nity are safe.

I have been im­pressed with the lo­cal sup­port around our com­mu­nity. We will all have friends or fam­ily who have been af­fected by the earth­quake and I have had a high num­ber of in­quiries from peo­ple want­ing to of­fer their sup­port.

My of­fice staff in Taupo, Toko­roa and Cam­bridge have of­fered to help the of­fices in Can­ter­bury over the next few months.

The earth­quake also serves as a timely re­minder for the rest of NZ to make sure you are pre­pared.

Last year Taupo ex­pe­ri­enced two Civil De­fence emer­gen­cies which saw a range of re­sources be­ing used.

The Waihi slips and the clo­sure of the Napier-Taupo Road in 2009 high­lighted that nat­u­ral dis­as­ters can oc­cur any­where and any­time and we all need to be pre­pared.

Take the time to put to­gether some es­sen­tials for an emer­gency. Visit www.civilde­fence.govt.nz to find out what you and your fam­ily need to get through the first few days of an emer­gency.

The Can­ter­bury re­build will be a long process that will need our sup­port for a while to come.

With de­ter­mi­na­tion, pa­tience, and the sup­port of all New Zealan­ders, Christchurch will re­build – brick by brick – and con­tinue to pros­per into the fu­ture.

My thoughts are with the peo­ple of Can­ter­bury as they be­gin to re­cover and re­build af­ter this fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.


WAKE UP CALL: MP Louise Up­ston said the Christchurch earth­quake is a re­minder to South Waikato to be pre­pared.

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