Central NZ quakes a timely reminder to be prepared

22 July 2013, 02:05 PM

The central New Zealand earthquakes are a timely reminder for businesses, individuals and families to ensure they are prepared, says Waikato Civil Defence.

That means developing and updating business continuity plans, checking emergency kits are stocked and emergency plans are in place, said Waikato Group Controller Lee Hazlewood.

“The closure of parts of the Wellington CBD this morning is a reminder of the impact an event can have on businesses, both small and large.

“Business owners and managers should think about developing a business continuity plan, if they don’t already have one. In it you should consider your reliance on services provided outside your area and the potential for those to be disrupted.”

Mr Hazlewood said there have been long gaps between earthquakes in the Waikato, but we do have several active faults in our region.

“So, it’s timely to be checking your emergency kits are stocked and accessible, and that your emergency plans are up-to-date.

“And because you might not be at home when an emergency occurs, it’s worthwhile taking time to refresh your memory on what to do during an event. For an earthquake, drop, cover and hold is still the right action to take.”

The Waikato Civil Defence Group emergency coordination centre (GECC) has been on standby to provide assistance to Wellington following last night's damaging earthquake.

Mr Hazlewood said the situation in Wellington was being closely monitored.

"At this stage we've had no requests from Wellington civil defence for assistance, but we will remain on standby to help if they need additional building safety inspectors, or other specialists.

"It's important that any requests for assistance are managed through official channels. It ensures better coordination of resources, including the deployment of people to the areas most in need," Mr Hazlewood said.

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