July now has another title other than ‘Coldest Month Ever’ and ‘Blogger’s Birthday Awareness’.
For the next four-and-a-bit weeks, Open2view will be running something we like to call ‘Be Prepared Month’. This is our humble attempt to get more people aware of the need to have, at the very least, the basics put away in case of emergency.
Your first instinct might be “but surely after the last couple of years most people have got themselves prepared”. That was mine too – but, looking at the numbers it seems while thousands of Kiwis are indeed more prepared, we still have a way to go.
Statistics New Zealand conducted a survey of 8500 people between April 2010 and March 2011, to see how prepared we are for a disaster. That survey showed:
- Just 18 percent of New Zealanders were ‘basically prepared’, while 13 percent had enough supplies to qualify as ‘better prepared’.
- 88 percent of homes had three days worth of food, but only 45% had put away three days of water, and just 29% had an emergency plan.
- Auckland is by far the least prepared with just 12% having the basic supplies. Canterbury was ranked highest with 28%.
- One-parent households have a way to go (12%) while 20% of couples without children had packed the basics.
‘Basic preparation’ was defined as having three days worth of food and water along with a household emergency plan. ‘Better preparation’ includes all this plus a torch, portable radio, spare batteries, a first-aid kit and essential medication.
If you’re really good, you’re also in ‘damage mitigation’ mode, which means you have heavy and tall furniture, along with the hot water cylinder, safely secured. 31 percent of homes had their furniture taken care of and 79% their hot water cylinder.
It’s likely these stats have gone up since the survey was completed last year – but we can always do better.
So how does Open2view plan to help? Throughout July we are giving away a bunch of these:
These 84-serve Grab and Go Emergency Food Supply buckets, made by Wise Company, contain enough meals to feed one adult for a month or a family with four kids for a week. All you need is to add boiling water (you did pack water, right?) and wait 12-15 minutes. It’s not exactly Logan Brown/Martin Bosley standard, but it’s filling and nutritional enough to get you through those critical first few days of a disaster.
So how can you win one? We’ll be giving away 26 of them on Facebook – one per weekday except for Friday, when you get an extra chance – and whatever’s left over on Twitter. Just enter the draw on our Facebook page or retweet us when we give the word.
During Be Prepared Month we will also be giving tips on what you can do to ensure you, and your family, have your bases covered. We will be drawing on local and international experiences to illustrate how important it is to have, at the minimum, the basics needed to get through.
It’ll be informative, and hopefully some fun. And if we can just get a few of you thinking about storing away some essential supplies, then we’ll be pretty happy.
One more note: sadly, New Zealand has had far too many experiences with disaster lately. One week after Nelson’s crazy floods last Christmas I was astonished by the view from the plane as I flew home. This weekend I’m heading down to Christchurch. Although I’ve seen thousands of photos since September 2010, I have yet to see for myself how you look close up. Hopefully, over the next month, we can do at least some justice to the amazing efforts your people have put in, and continue to put in, as you rebuild.