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Takatū ana te kāinga Home Ready

1.Make a whare/home emergency plan

Make a household emergency plan with your whānau to get through. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn't have them.

When you're making your household emergency plan, remember to include everyone. Think about the requirements of disabled people, older people, babies, young children, pets and other animals.

A household emergency plan lets everyone in your household know what to do in an emergency event and how to get ready. Having a plan helps make actual emergency situations less stressful.

Useful template to help you make a plan together:

English Household Preparedness Plan

Māori Household Preparedness Plan

2.Tailor your plan

Important things to talk about while making a household emergency plan:  

  • How and where will you meet during and after an emergency? Think about what will you do if some of you are at work or school – how will you get home if routes are blocked?
  • Where will you store your plan and who will be responsible for maintaining it?
  • Do you have pets, or livestock? What will you need to look after them?
  • What will you need to do for members of your household, family or community with a disability or special requirement?
  • How and when will you turn off the water, electricity and gas in your home or business?
  • Where will you get updates? What local radio stations will you tune into for information?
  • If threat to life or property, dial 111

3.Emergency supplies

Sheltering at home

  • Water
    • Store water for three days or more – make sure you have at least nine litres of water for every person. This will be enough for drinking and basic hygiene. Don’t forget your pets. Check out how to store water here.
  • Food
    • Long-lasting food that doesn’t need cooking (unless you have a camping stove or gas barbecue) and food for babies and pets. You can build this over time by adding an extra tin of food here and there, and gradually increasing the amount of basic food you keep at home. Check expiry dates frequently and follow the practice of first-in, first-out.
  • If you have special dietary needs, make sure you have enough to last three days at home. As well as in a grab bag. If you have to evacuate, emergency shelters may not have the food that you need.
  • A large plastic bucket with a tight lid (or large rubbish bags), toilet paper, and disinfectant, for an emergency toilet.
  • Dust masks (rated P2 or N95) and work gloves, to protect yourself.
  • USB chargers and/or portable charging devices (such as power banks) to charge your mobile phone. Some solar- and battery-powered radios can also be used to charge phones.

Other items

  • Torch and batteries. Battery powered lighting is the safest and easiest.
  • A solar- or battery-powered radio (or your car radio), with spare batteries.
  • Camping stove or BBQ
  • First Aid kit and essential medicines
  • Pet supplies
  • Can opener

If you rely on power, for example for medical reasons, please speak to your GP or medical provider about your needs and emergency plan.

Don't forget that you and your neighbours can help each other by sharing supplies too. 

By looking after yourself and your household, you'll also be helping emergency services focus their limited resources on the people who need the most help.


4.Grab bag and car supplies

Grab bag

If you have to evacuate, you will need essential items that you can carry with you. It’s ideal to store these items in a grab bag, ready for you to take if you have to leave in a hurry.

Have a grab bay for everyone in your family.

Each bag should have:

  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, raincoat and hat
  • Water and snack food (remember babies and pets too)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Portable phone charger
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents (Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage Certificate etc) and photo ID

Remember any medications you might need and keep your first aid kit, mask or face covering, torch, radio and batteries somewhere you can grab them in a hurry.

If you have special dietary needs, make sure you have the food you need in your grab bag too.


Plan ahead for what you will do if you are in your car when an emergency happens. A flood, storm or major traffic accident could leave you stranded in your vehicle for some time.

Keep essential emergency survival items in your car. If you are driving in extreme winter conditions, add:

  • a brush
  • a shovel
  • tire chains
  • windshield scrapers, and
  • warm clothing.

Store a pair of walking shoes, a waterproof jacket, essential medicines, snack food, water, a phone charger lead and a torch in your car.

Keep up to date with weather and road information when planning travel.

It is a good idea to keep some fuel in your tank at all times in case of an emergency. Petrol stations may not be able to operate pumps if there are power cuts, and roads may be blocked or damaged preventing you from getting to a petrol station.