Take time now to get prepared
Monday, 18 April 2011 12:30 p.m.
With the two month anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake approaching, Bay of Plenty residents are being reminded to get ready so they can get through should disaster strike here.
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Joint Committee Chair, Mayor John Forbes of Opotiki District Council said the events in Christchurch and Japan have highlighted the fact that people still need to be as prepared as they can be for any civil defence emergency.
"The simple fact is that when a major disaster happens, there will not be a policeman or a civil defence officer there to knock on every door and help everyone get to safety," Mayor Forbes said. "People need to plan ahead and think about how they are going to look after themselves and their loved ones.
"This includes ensuring your disaster kits are well stocked, that you've sat down with your family and prepared a household evacuation plan, and that you've taken some responsibility for knowing the risks associated with living in the Bay of Plenty."
A map developed in August 2010 showing tsunami inundation zones for the Bay of Plenty coastline was developed as a tool to help coastal residents improve their tsunami preparedness planning.
The map is an online resource, which shows the distance a tsunami surge would travel inland, based on worst case scenario planning of tsunami surge heights for the western and eastern Bay of Plenty. It can be downloaded from the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group website www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz.
Mayor Forbes said as well as the tsunami inundation maps people should also be proactive about looking into the various disaster scenarios.
"People should not underestimate their own abilities to make decisions, based on what they might feel or experience," Mayor Forbes said. "I encourage people to learn about the natural hazards our region is associated with and the things they can do to increase their own ability to respond to them."
"This includes visiting our regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Group website, www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz and making sure your family has a household plan and an emergency kit ready. You can also learn more about the signs you can look out for if you live near the beach, or what to do if a disaster occurs."
Mayor Forbes said families might like to visit www.whatstheplanstan.govt.nz and go through the information with their children, as part of their emergency planning.
Mayor Forbes also encouraged people to contact their local city or district council if they would like assistance with community response planning and to find out further information on how they can get ready and get through.
For more information about getting prepared for an emergency, visit the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management website www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz. Members of the public can also sign-up to receive email alerts.
For further media information please contact Alexandra Grenfell, Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 880 or 0211 909 151.