Never Happens Happens

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In New Zealand emergencies can happen anywhere, any time, and without warning.

Stuck at home 

In most emergencies it's best to stay in your own home if it is safe to do so. 

Do you have enough food and medicine? Do you have enough food for pets too?

light up

Your emergency supplies don’t have to be in a kit, but you might have to find them in the dark. Make sure everyone knows where the torches and batteries are.

fridge first

If the power goes out, eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Eat the food in the cupboard or from your emergency supplies last.

know your neighbours

Get to know your neighbours. In an emergency they may need your help or you may need their help.

Can't get home 

If you can’t get home the usual way in an emergency, how will you go there? Who will you go with? Where will you meet up if your street is a no-go zone?

second meeting place

Agree on a meeting place if you can’t get home. It might be the school, a friend’s place, or with whānau.

Have to evacuate 

If your street was evacuated in an emergency, where would you go? What would you take? What about pets? Do you have neighbours who might need your help?

pack a getaway bag

Have a getaway bag ready with warm clothes, a bottle of water, snacks, copies of important documents and photo ID. Remember any medications you might need and keep your first aid supplies, torch, radio and batteries somewhere you can grab them in a hurry.

decide where to go

Make sure everyone in your family knows where you will go, in case you’re not all together. Your evacuation place will probably be with friends or family, so make sure they know your plans.

check your zone

If you live in a tsunami zone, make sure your evacuation place is outside of the zone.

No power 

What would you do if the power was out for days? How will you see, cook, and keep warm?

light up

Make sure you have torches and batteries, either with your emergency supplies or somewhere everyone can find them in the dark.

stay tuned in

Have a solar or battery powered radio so you can keep up with the latest news and alerts. Know which radio stations to tune into for information during an emergency.

stock up

Have a stock of food that doesn’t need to be cooked (canned is good) or something on which to cook your food (bbq, camp stove). Don’t forget food for babies and pets.

fridge first

If the power goes out, eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Eat the food in the cupboard or from your emergency supplies last.

No water 

Imagine having no water for three days or more. How would you wash, cook, clean? What would you drink?

bottling water

Keep your empty water, juice and fizzy drink bottles, give them a good clean and fill them with water – you need three litres of water for each person for each day that you are without water. Don’t forget to store water for babies and pets too.

long term water storage

You can keep stored drinking water for up to a year if you add non-scented household bleach (half a teaspoon for every ten litres of water and don’t drink for at least half an hour after mixing).

stay fed and washed

Remember to store water for cooking and cleaning as well. You can use the water in your hot water cylinder, but store some extra in large plastic containers.

No phone or internet 

If the phone and internet lines were down how would you keep in touch, arrange to meet up, keep up with news and weather alerts?

plan a meeting point

Talk to your family about how you will get in touch and where you will meet up in an emergency if there is no phone or internet.

stay tuned in

Have a solar or battery powered radio so you can keep up with the latest news and alerts. 

out of town contact

Have an out of town contact that everyone knows about (sometimes when local phone lines are down you can still reach people outside your area). Tell everyone to check in with your out of town contact by text or online messaging in an emergency if you can.

keep a list

Keep a written list of important phone numbers.

Audio Maori keywords: 


  • Samoan keywords

  • Tongan keywords

  • Cook Islands Māori keywords

  • Niuean keywords


Use this online form to make a plan with your family to get through an emergency.

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It’s easy to get ready now. Have a chat with your family and work out what you’ll do. Image: Civil Defence.

What emergencies might you be affected by? Image: Civil Defence.

It is a great idea to go over this household emergency checklist for items you may have forgotten to get ready. Image: LEARNZ.

Your emergency supplies don’t have to be in a kit, but you might have to find them in the dark. Make sure everyone knows where the torches and batteries are. Image: LEARNZ.

This is a great emergency plan to work through with your whānau (continued below). Image. Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

This is a great emergency plan to work through with your whānau (continued from above). Image. Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.