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Home emergency checklist

What you'll need to get through an emergency in New Zealand.

Create a household emergency plan

When an emergency happens, you need to be able to look after yourself and those in your care for at least 3 days.

Get everyone in your house together and agree on a plan — this will help you respond safely and quickly when a disaster happens.

Stay informed

Know the different ways to stay informed during an emergency:

  • listen to the radio
  • go online to check for local and national updates
  • read the Emergency Mobile Alerts
  • know your neighbours’ contact details.

Find out more about staying informed

Emergency survival items

Your supplies should include:

  • torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch
  • radio with spare batteries — check all batteries every 3 months
  • wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats and strong outdoor shoes
  • first aid kit and essential medicines
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • emergency toilet — toilet paper and large rubbish bags
  • dust masks and gloves.

Food and water for 3 days or more

Your supplies should include:

  • canned or dried food
  • water (at least 3 litres per person, per day) for drinking
  • food for babies
  • pet food
  • water for washing and cooking
  • a primus or gas barbeque to cook on
  • a can opener.

Consider stocking a two-week supply of food and water for prolonged emergencies such as a pandemic.

Check and replace food and water every 12 months.

How to store water

  1. Wash plastic bottles thoroughly in hot water.
  2. Fill each bottle with tap water until it overflows.
  3. Add 5 drops of unscented household bleach per litre of water or half a teaspoon for 10 litres. Do not drink for at least 30 minutes after disinfecting.
  4. Label bottles with dates, store in 2 separate cool dark places and replace the water and bleach every 12 months.

How to store water

Grab bags

Everyone in the house should have a packed grab bag in an easily accessible place. Each bag should include:

  • torch and radio with spare batteries
  • emergency water and snacks
  • first aid kit and essential medicines
  • change of clothes (wind and waterproof clothing, and strong outdoor shoes)
  • copies of important documents:
    • identification documents (birth and marriage certificates, driver licences and passports)
    • financial documents (insurance policies and mortgage documents)
    • copies of precious family photos.

If you have to evacuate

Some houses, streets and neighbourhoods may not be safe to stay in and you may have to leave home in a hurry.

If you have to evacuate:

  • take your grab bag
  • decide where you will go
  • take your pets with you.

Find out more how you and your family can get ready for an emergency

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