Matthew Theunissen is a business reporter

Kiwis preparing for another disaster

More than 5000 emergency bags have been sold since the November 14 earthquake. Photo / Dr Kate Pedley
More than 5000 emergency bags have been sold since the November 14 earthquake. Photo / Dr Kate Pedley

Thousands of New Zealanders are preparing themselves for further natural disasters in the wake of the November 14 earthquake.

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) has sold out of its 200 litre water storage tanks, while Grab & Go has sold more than 5000 emergency bags since the quake hit Wellington and the South Island's north east.

WREMO community resilience manager Daniel Neely said they'd sold about 1000 of their water tanks, which attach to your rain gutter and are small enough to fit in the back of a Honda Accord.

"The benefit of that is not just having water but having a renewable source of water. A lot of people actually use them just for day-to-day watering, especially if there's a drought towards the end of summer and water starts getting a bit tight."

The tanks, which cost $105, are completely sold out and WREMO continue to get requests.

"The earthquake has certainly spiked demand," Neely said. "The producer is doing everything he can to keep up with it."

Michael Anderson, who co-owns emergency kit company Grab & Go, said they had sold 2200 units since the earthquake and had a further 3000 back orders.

"People have become more aware about preparedness. I think they've really been asking themselves if they're ready in the event of an emergency."

The company sells one-person kits for $75 or four-people kits for $145.

"But once you've bought a bag you're still not fully prepared -- you've got to add in things like medication, food, clothing and other things that you deem necessary," Anderson said.

Perhaps the most important item of all is an emergency checklist.

"On the checklist you'll have the phone numbers of your neighbours, your meeting point for family members, your addresses, names of people you need to contact in case of an emergency. And then it asks, have you got your passport? Have you got some cash? Have you got clothing? Have you got food? Have you filled your drink bottles? Etcetera."

Many of the orders had been from workplaces and government departments, as well as from members of the public from all regions of New Zealand.

The one-person Grab & Go emergency kit

• First aid kit
• Torch with FM radio and siren
• Multifunction knife
• Combined whistle, compass, signal mirror, flint and waterproof match holder
• Matches
• Drink bottles
• Light sticks
• Emergency blanket
• Rain poncho
• Dust mask
• Leather work gloves
• Water purification tablets
• Zip-lock bags
• Medical waste bags
• Notebook and pen
• Hi-vis vest
• Emergency plan brochure
• Checklist
• Deck of playing cards

- NZ Herald

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