Emergency survival items and getaway kits

In most emergencies you should be able to stay in your home. Plan to be able to look after yourself and your household for at least three days or more.

Assemble and maintain your emergency survival items for your home as well as a portable getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry. You should also have essential emergency items in your workplace and in your car.

Emergency survival items

  • torch with spare batteries or a self charging torch
  • radio with spare batteries
  • wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor shoes
  • first aid kit and essential medicines
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • pet supplies
  • toilet paper and large rubbish bags for your emergency toilet
  • face and dust masks.

Check all batteries every three months. Battery powered lighting is the safest and easiest. Do not use candles as they can tip over in earthquake aftershocks or in a gust of wind. Do not use kerosene lamps, which require a great deal of ventilation and are not designed for indoor use.

Food and water for at least three days

  • non-perishable food (canned or dried food)
  • food, formula and drinks for babies and small children
  • water – at least three litres per person per day for drinking
  • water for washing and cooking
  • a primus or gas barbecue to cook on
  • a can opener.

Check and replace food & water every twelve months. Consider stocking a two-week supply of food & water for prolonged emergencies such as a pandemic.

Getaway kits

In some emergencies you may need to evacuate in a hurry. Everyone should have a packed getaway kit in an easily accessible place at home and at work which includes:

  • torch and radio with spare batteries
  • any special needs such as hearing aids and spare batteries, glasses or mobility aids
  • emergency water and easy-to-carry food rations such as energy bars and dried foods in case there are delays in reaching a welfare centre or a place where you might find support. If you have any special dietary requirements, ensure you have extra supplies
  • first aid kit and essential medicines
  • essential items for infants or young children such as formula and food, nappies and a favourite toy
  • change of clothes (wind/waterproof clothing and strong outdoor shoes)
  • toiletries – towel, soap, toothbrush, sanitary items, toilet paper
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • face and dust masks
  • pet supplies
  • include important documents your kit:identification (birth and marriage certificates, driver’s licences and passports), financial documents (e.g. insurance policies and mortgage information) and precious family photos.

First aid

If someone you care for is injured in a disaster, your knowledge of first aid will be invaluable. Many organisations provide first aid training courses. Consider taking a first aid course, followed by regular refresher sessions.

You can buy ready-made first aid kits or make up your own.

For further information go to www.getthru.govt.nz.