The tragedies in Christchurch and around the world have given New Zealanders a wakeup call to get better prepared for emergency events, says Civil Defence Minister Craig Foss.
The annual survey of national levels of preparedness shows a significant increase in the number of people who have taken steps to get ready for disasters.
Sixty per cent of those surveyed say they have taken steps to prepare themselves or their household in the last 12 months, up from 44 per cent last year, with the main prompt being the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes.
“While this is good news, there is still room for improvement,” said Mr Foss.
New Zealand’s level of preparedness has been measured annually since 2006 when the Get Ready Get Thru public education campaign was launched. The 2011 Colmar Brunton research excluded Christchurch residents as it was felt it would be inappropriate to survey the community about preparedness.
The proportion of people in New Zealand who said they are fully prepared for an emergency jumped from 11 per cent last year to 18 per cent this year. This means having an emergency survival plan that includes what to do when away from home, having emergency survival items and water for at least three days, and regularly updating these items.
Nearly one third said they were prepared for an emergency when at home, compared to a fifth in 2010. More than four out of five people surveyed have emergency survival items, and nearly two thirds have a survival plan (up from half in 2010).
“The biggest challenge in the past has been to overcome complacency about the need to be prepared. Since the quakes we have seen a significant shift, with people seeking advice and information on what they need to do to be prepared.
“Our challenge now is to build on this improved awareness and the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management will continue to work with local authorities and communities to ensure New Zealanders are prepared for future disasters,” said Mr Foss
– Civil Defence