Only 22% of New Zealanders believe they have the basic essentials to get through a natural disaster and only 17 % had better than basic preparations.
Figures from the 2012 New Zealand General Social Survey show the proportion of people with basic preparations (a three-day supply of food and water, and a household emergency plan) is up from 17 percent in 2010.
“Unsurprisingly, the region with the highest level of basic preparation was Canterbury – 40 percent had basic preparations, up from 28 percent in 2010,” General Social Survey manager Philip Walker said.
“Marlborough (36 percent) and Hawke’s Bay (30 percent) also had high proportions of people who were basically prepared.”
In Wellington, 29 percent of people were prepared while around one-quarter of people in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne region had basic preparations.
“The regions with the lowest rates for basic preparation in 2012 were Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Otago, and Southland. They all had less than one-fifth of people prepared,” Mr Walker said.
Nationally, 17 percent of people had better-than-basic preparations for a natural disaster – they also had a torch, portable radio, spare batteries, first aid kit, and essential medicines, on top of a three-day supply of food and water and a household emergency plan. This figure was up from 12 percent in 2010.
Approximately one-third of New Zealand households had an emergency plan in 2012. This has increased steadily from approximately one-quarter of households in 2008. . .
It’s rare that neither my farmer nor I is in town more than once a week but we could easily get by for more than that if we had to. We’ve got enough ponds and streams for water and a fire on which to boil it to ensure it’s potable and we always have torches, spare batteries and a first aid kit.
The portable radio is a bit too portable and tends to wander but it’s generally not too far from home. If all else failed we’d be able to use a radio in a car, ute or tractor to catch up on emergency broadcasts.
That fewer than 40% of people have at least basic preparations for an emergency could be a reflection on the way they live these days – fewer have vegetable gardens and many shop for what they need day by day.
But how hard is it to have basic or better than basic preparations?
If you’re very poor it would be difficult to have little if any more than you require for immediate needs.
But is it asking too much for other people to have enough spare to be self-sufficient for three days?