Preparing for an earthquake - Guide for you and your family

After the recent devastation caused by the earthquakes around Kaikoura that were felt as far as Auckland, many New Zealanders will be taking a fresh look at their disaster preparedness. Using information from the New Zealand government, we've put together a brief guide for earthquake preparedness both at home and on the go.

At home

First, develop an emergency survival plan, and ensure your whole family is aware of it. A copy of this can be downloaded from getthru.govt.nz, but generally will include names, contact details, location of getaway kits and emergency supplies and a map of the safe spaces in your home or building.  In the case of an earthquake, this may include areas that are particularly structurally supported or protected, such as under tables or in doorways.

As part of this plan, the New Zealand government advises putting together an emergency supply cache.

An emergency supply cache will typically include:

  • A torch
  • A radio
  • Spare batteries
  • Wind and waterproof clothing
  • Outdoor shoes and sun hat
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • A first aid kit, including essential medicines
  • Pet supplies (if applicable)
  • Rubbish bags and toilet paper
  • Face and dust masks

You should also aim to have three days worth of canned or dried food, three litres of water per day per person as well as water for cooking, and portable cooking devices such as a small gas BBQ.  Don't forget a can opener.

On the go

However, disasters will not always strike while you are home, and sometimes you will need to rapidly evacuate in the event of an earthquake. As such, the New Zealand government also advises having a getaway bag that has the items included in the above supply cache list.  You will need to add the following:

  • Dried rations rather than canned
  • A change of clothes
  • A full set of toiletries and essential infant items (nappies, toys, formula, etc)
  • Identification documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates and insurance policies
  • Any mortgage information.

It may be you keep one of these kits in your car as well.  This allows you to rapidly evacuate if need be, and also gives you a supply line if you are away from home.  We'd recommend you keep the documentation out of your car kit though as a car burglary could result in serious identity theft.

In both cases, the government suggests keeping track of your insurance policies and checking your cover to ensure you are protected. 

Your home insurance and contents insurance will give you cover for losses suffered as the result of an earthquake, and often we receive claims on motor vehicle insurance after natural disaster events too.

 

For more information about claims following earthquakes see:

Claims & Earthquakes

Are you affected by the Kaikoura earthquakes


Allan Henderson

About the Author

Name: Allan Henderson        

I’m the Leader - Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Wellington branch. I have over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and get a kick out of finding insurance solutions for my clients.

I enjoy leading and…
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I’m the Leader - Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Wellington branch. I have over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and get a kick out of finding insurance solutions for my clients.

I enjoy leading and developing people (including my 3 children although they may not appreciate my leadership skills at times – or ever for that matter) and am part of a really experienced team who have a lot of fun here in Wellington.

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Disclaimer: The articles published on this blog are designed to provide general information and do not take into account any individual’s particular circumstances. We recommend that you obtain professional advice on your requirements before making any decision about a financial product.

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