Local residents ready for an emergency

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Most Bay of Plenty residents are fully or partially prepared for a civil defence emergency, but more could be done, recent research results show.

New national research by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management show 17 percent of Bay of Plenty residents are fully prepared for an emergency.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Civil Defence Emergency Management manager, Clinton Naude, said the region's 'get ready get thru' results were positive compared to when the survey was first run seven years ago.

"That's the same as the national average - but we want more people to be fully prepared.

"Nearly a third (32 percent) of Bay of Plenty residents are prepared at home - the same as the national average - but that's a drop of five percent from Bay of Plenty's previous year level (37 percent) which was above the national average," Mr Naude said.

Just over half, 52 percent, of those living in Bay of Plenty, and the New Zealand average, had taken steps to prepare from 12 months from April/May 2012. Although this result remains higher than pre-2011 before the Christchurch earthquakes struck, it is significantly lower than last year and follows a downward trend.

Nearly two thirds, 60 percent, have an emergency plan and 92 percent have survival items.

The proportion of residents from the Bay of Plenty that have seen, heard, or read advertising about preparing for a disaster is generally consistent with the national average.

Residents who have seen the Get Ready Get Thru television advertising are significantly more likely than average to say that the advertisement prompted them to visit other disaster preparation websites.

"We'd like to see more people being better prepared as that will mean fewer people needing emergency services help when they could help themselves," Mr Naude said.

"A lot of people are partially prepared, or know what to do, but haven't made the move to being fully prepared."

Being fully prepared means having an emergency kit containing food, water, a radio, batteries and a torch, having at least three litres of water for each household member, and having a family or household emergency plan.

"We'd really like people to take action now to ensure their family and friends are protected and prepared in an emergency and won't need emergency services help.

"Check with your neighbours, friends and family now. Have a chat about what survival items you can get together now, and what you'd do and where you'd meet in an emergency."

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has carried out the survey of emergency preparedness annually since 2006.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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