Ten-year-old Karauria Hamiora knows what to do in case of a civil defence emergency - grab food, water, clothes and the first aid kit.

The Rotorua Lakes Council said in a media release this year's "Get Ready" campaign would focus on preparing children.

Karauria's mum Jenna Samuel sat down with her son to talk about emergency preparedness.

She asked what he'd do in an emergency if he and his young cousin Marky were at home and no adults were nearby.


He said they would get out of the house.

"I'd grab Marky a game, some food, water, clothes and the first aid kit."

Ms Samuel said it was imperative her son was prepared.

"I want to know that my son is confident in himself until help arrives," she said.

Ms Samuel recalled living through the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake and her father returning home.

"Koro came tearing back from work, because Koro used to work at Tasman Pulp and Paper. [He] came rushing back, Nanny was screaming, she didn't know what to do. First thing Koro did was [he] grabbed me and Uncle Tangimoana and Nan and then put us in the doorway and went over the top of us. While that was happening the house literally fell down around us.

"As a mother, I'd like to know that if a disaster was to hit, my son can not only take care of himself, but other people that are around him as well. After coming from a disaster myself, I know how hard it can be on a child," she said.

She encouraged every family to ensure they have an emergency plan to keep them safe.

Rotorua district's Primary Emergency Management Controller, Stavros Michael agreed it was important for families to have an emergency plan and to pack a kit with some food, water and warm clothes.

He said children played a key role in educating families about emergency preparedness.

"Children are very important in that respect because they can influence parents and ask them have you got emergency supplies, have we got a plan, do we know what to do in an emergency and if we don't what do we have to do to make sure we have a plan in place."

Click Here to find more information about how to "Get Ready".