Civil Defence encourages preparation for natural disasters

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

How prepared are you should there be an eruption? It's a question being put to residents in the Central North Island following recent activity from White Island and now Mt Ruapehu. 

Civil Defence says certain items will save your life during an eruption.

Matthew Pryor says, “What most people think is that there is a whole branch of people waiting around to come and save you in a disaster and there isn't basically you could be on your own for up to three days or more.”

Scientists have conducted aerial surveys due to recent vigorous seismic activity at Ruapehu.

The last signs of seismic activity on the mountain were recorded in 2007.

Now the Civil Defence's message is to be prepared.

Pryor says, “The most important thing that you can do to be prepared for a disaster is to have a household plan because that's the way you are going to know where to go, what to do, who you are going to ring during a disaster this is the thing that most people don't have and what they need most of all.”

Civil Defence's advice is to learn about disasters, create and practice a household emergency plan, assemble and maintain emergency survival items and have a getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry.

“A grab and go kit is something you leave near the door or in the car that you can grab when you leave the house in a big hurry and this is a small kit that contains things like your important medicines some water, some food a first aid kit and things like a battery powered radio that you can keep up to date with everything.”

Scientists call this area the 'Ring of Fire' where there is high volcanic activity.

This afternoon, the Volcanic Alert level for White Island dropped from level two to level one. 

However, it's unclear when an eruption will happen, which is why you should be prepared.

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