Almost half of Rotorua residents aren't prepared if a big earthquake was to strike, prompting warnings to get organised following recent smart quakes in the city.

A survey by the Rotorua District Council revealed 43 per cent (29,627) of Rotorua residents did not have an emergency kit while 47 per cent (32,383) had no plan in place if the big one happened. As of June, Rotorua's population was estimated at 68,900. Council emergency management co-ordinator Pauline Hitchcock said although Rotorua's figures were well below the national average of those who had no plan in place (83 per cent), there were still too many people not prepared.

Mrs Hitchcock said many people didn't realise it was the individual's responsibility to prepare themselves in case of an emergency and many assumed it was local government's responsibility.

She said people needed to realise it could be up to three days before help arrived and they would need to fend for themselves.

Advertisement

The council had two emergency response teams specially prepared to respond but they could be directed elsewhere, Mrs Hitchcock said.

"Although civil defence is there and works alongside other agencies, the responsibility lies with individuals to work with others in the community to build community resilience."