13 Feb 2014

1 in 5 feel prepared for disaster

8:41 pm on 13 February 2014

Most New Zealanders feel they are unprepared for a natural disaster, according to new figures.

Statistics New Zealand's 2012 New Zealand General Social Survey show 22 percent of people have an emergency kit with enough food and water for three days, as well as a household emergency plan.

A further 17 percent of people have a better than basic kit which includes a torch, a radio and first aid supplies.

The number of people with any sort of emergency kit is up five percent from 2010.

Survey manager Philip Walker said unsurprisingly, earthquake-hit Canterbury was the most prepared region with 40 percent of respondents saying they were fully prepared.

The least prepared regions were Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Otago and Southland - where less than a fifth had a basic kit.

Civil Defence and Emergency Management director John Hamilton said disasters across the country and abroad are encouraging people to put kits together in case of emergency.

While a kit stocked with food, water and medication was vital, he said people need to have an emergency plan in place also.

The Minister of Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye said while the numbers are heading in the right direction, many New Zealanders are still unprepared and must not get complacent.

Ms Kaye said natural disasters around the country, including recent major earthquakes in Canterbury and the central North Island show just how important it is to have an emergency plan in place.