Getting Ready for an Emergency
We live in a wild and beautiful place where emergencies and disasters can occur with little or no warning. If they do happen, Kaikōura may be isolated for days or weeks. This page contains a number of resources that can help you, your whānau, your friends and your neighbourhood prepare for an emergency.
Civil Defence is a network made up of you, your neighbours and your community. Supporting you are the local, regional and national Emergency Management Civil Defence staff, who in turn are supported by international aid if needed.
‘Prepared not scared' is our motto in the Kaikōura District. Residents are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety and well-being and that of any visitors or guests. Read the simple 3 steps to having a plan below, and make sure you and your loved ones are well prepared if an emergency occurs. This means we need our community to get ready now so that you can take care of yourselves and each other in an emergency.
In the days and weeks following a disaster, your local neighbourhood will be the ones that you rely on the most, and will also rely on you. Do your part to help so that we can help those who can’t help themselves on the day. Start with the three steps below to help yourself prepare for an emergency.
3 Simple Steps to prepare for an emergency
- Use this map to check if you're in a tsunami zone. If you are you'll need to make sure your plan includes how you and those you care about will evacuate safely.
- Have a chat with your family and make sure everyone knows who's going to do what if there is a an earthquake, flood or tsunami. If you're in a tsunami or flood risk area, or those you love are, make sure you talk about evacuation plans and who can pick who up from where.
- Then, use this handy template to write the plan down and share it with those you love
- Sign up to Kaikōura Gets Ready so that Council can send you all the information you need in an emergency (you can use it to send us information about the help you need too!)
- If you're in a tsunami zone, know your evacuation route. Find out where it is safe to drive and where you need to walk. When you need to leave an evacuation zone as fast and safely as possible, you may not be able to take your car. Remember that you won't be able to go into tsunami zones to collect friends or relatives so organise with those that live close to them to pick them up instead.
- Know when to evacuate: If you are near the coast and experience a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts more than a minute, a sudden rise or fall in sea level, loud and unusual noises from sea, move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can. Read more about natural tsunami warning signs.
In an emergency, the radio is your best source of information. Make sure you have a radio at your house with fresh batteries or a self-generated power source (like a wind up radio) that picks up these stations:
- Brian FM - 100.3
- National AM 567
- National FM 101.7
Make sure you are signed up or aware of the channels below:
- Community noticeboards - Council (96 West End)
- Kaikōura Gets Ready
- Kaikōura District Council website – Civil Defence Status and Latest News
- Kaikōura District Council Facebook
- Kaikōura District Council Email newsletter - sign up here: make sure you click 'Civil Defence' as a topic you are interested in
- Hazard App
For more about community and neighbourhood emergency plans/planning, contact our Emergency Management Officer, Dean Eades by email or phone 027 433 0321
What to do during an event
New Zealand sits on the boundary between the Indo-Australian and pacific tectonic plates, which means we get a large number of earthquakes. Watch a video about how New Zealand’s boundaries were formed.
What to do during an earthquake
If you are inside – drop, cover and hold. If you are outside – move away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines, then drop, cover and hold. Stay there until the shaking stops.
For safe places during an earthquake, see the Wellington Region Emergency Management – Drop, Cover Hold site.
If you feel an earthquake that is either longer than a minute, or strong enough that it is hard to stand up then get to high ground as soon as the shaking stops. The earthquake could be the only warning sign of a tsunami.
Most flooding happens when water from intense/persistent rain, and sometimes from melting snow, enters rivers, streams and lakes, causing them to overflow or become blocked. High sea levels at river mouths can also increase flood levels.
Floods can be dangerous when the water is deep, is travelling fast, has risen quickly, or if it contains debris like tree branches or sheet iron.
- Do not try to walk or drive through floodwater
- Move valuable or dangerous items as high as you can off the floor
- Listen to the radio and follow the instructions.
Storms can happen year round and affect wide areas.
Storms and severe weather include things such as:
- Strong winds
- Heavy rain
- Heavy snow
- Rough seas.
You can see weather watches/warnings on the MetService website.
What to do during a storm or severe weather
- Secure anything that could cause damage in strong winds (or move it inside)
- Close windows and doors, close curtains to prevent injury from breaking windows
- Stay inside and bring your pets inside. If you have to leave, take them with you
- Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services.
How to prepare for a tsunami
- Know what to do - your evacuation route: use the interactive map to enter your address to see where to evacuate in a tsunami. Find out where it is safe to drive and where you need to walk. When you need to leave an evacuation zone as fast and safely as possible, you may not be able to take your car.
- We do not have evacuation centres in Kaikōura – everyone is advised to get up, get out and stay out if you are in tsunami zones. You should listen to the radio to find out when it is safe to return, or where to go for help.
What zone are you?
Red? Beach and marine environment, low lying areas. Evacuate the area when instructed to, or immediately after a long or strong earthquake.
Orange? May be evacuated for a large earthquake in other areas of the world that might affect us. Alerts and evacuation advice would be issues by Civil Defence, evacuate this area when instructed to, or immediately after any long or strong earthquakes.
No zone? You do not need to evacuate to higher ground. Some areas may be cut off if your normal access goes through a tsunami zone, so be prepared to stay at home until the all clear is given.
The siren that sounds is NOT a tsunami warning - there are no tsunami sirens in Kaikōura.
In the event of a long or strong earthquake, the quake itself may be the only warning of a tsunami. Do not wait for further instructions, notifications or advice, evacuate immediately after the shaking has stopped.
Know where to go - evacuate if any of the following occurs:
- A strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand
- A weak rolling earthquake that lasts more than a minute
- A sudden rise or fall in sea level, or
- Loud and unusual noises from sea.
If any of the above occurs, move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can. Read more about tsunami natural warning signs.
Know where to get information
See the section above titled ‘Get information during an emergency’ to read about the channels that will have information available during an emergency. In an emergency, the radio is your best source of information. Make sure you have a radio at your house with fresh batteries or a self-generated power source (like a wind up radio) that picks up these stations:
- Brian FM - 100.3
- National AM 567
- National FM 101.7
Landslides can range from a single boulder or rock, to a very large avalanche of earth and rock that can spread for kilometres. They are caused by heavy rain, earthquakes and, in some cases human activity. Landslides often happen without warning.
What to do during a landslide
- Get out of the path of the landslide quickly
- Warn neighbours and help others if you can
- Contact emergency services and your local Council.
A pandemic is a worldwide spread of a new disease. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity.
What to do to prepare for a pandemic
- Have a plan with whānau and friends that considers things such as food and supplies, care for extended whānau, care for tamariki or other dependents
- Have a list of key contacts handy such as people living nearby that you can contact if you need help, your doctor, HealthLine, your workplace
- Build up your emergency supplies - keep at least a week's supply of food, tissues and your usual medicines so you don't need to make trips away from home.
What do do in a pandemic
In a pandemic you may need to stay home because:
- You are sick
- You are caring for sick whānau or a household member
- You are caring for a dependent (e.g. if schools close).
Project AF8 (Alpine Fault Magnitude 8) is all about bringing together key agencies throughout the south island and coordinating the planning and preparation for a major event such as the Alpine Fault rupturing. The Project is a three-year programme of scientific modelling, response planning and community engagement that facilitates the spread of knowledge about the Alpine Fault and helps communities become better prepared and more resilient for a major event.
29 August 2018