Ex-Cyclone Gita a Timely Reminder

`Get yourself ready’ is the key message from Mackenzie District Council Emergency Management Officer, Phill Mackay, in the wake of ex-Cyclone Gita.

While the Mackenzie District certainly didn’t feel the force of ex-Cyclone Gita like other parts of New Zealand, rivers in the district were higher than normal, some roads were closed, and minor surface flooding occurred on others.

“We’re fortunate not to have had the impact experienced in other parts of New Zealand but it’s certainly a reminder that we all need to get ourselves emergency ready,” Phill says. Although there is often plenty of warning of weather events like ex-Cyclone Gita, in an event such as an earthquake there is no time to prepare, he says.

“That’s why it’s good to think ahead about what you need to do in an emergency. Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. You may need to evacuate your home or workplace. If that happens, think about how you would communicate with your family or friends about what you’re going to do or where you’ll go,” Phill says.

It is a good idea for all households to put together an emergency plan that they’re all aware of and then share it with their extended family or neighbours. Information on how to create a household emergency plan is available on www.getthru.govt.nz.

“The main thing is that you get together as a household and talk about your plan and think about the types of potential disasters that are most likely to occur in your area. By preparing a plan you’ll be more resilient and better able to cope in an emergency,” says Phill.

When planning for an emergency, it’s also important to think about:

  • How you’d pick up the kids from school.
  • If you’re confined to your home, whether you’ve got the food and supplies you need? It’s recommended that you have enough food, water and medication to last three days. Don’t forget about your pets or animals either.
  • How you’d manage without essentials such as water, gas, electricity, and without a landline or cell phone.
  • Following Mackenzie District Council on Facebook, as this is where we share relevant information, especially during emergencies.

 Phill is Mackenzie District Council’s fulltime Emergency Management Officer. His role includes monitoring hazards in the district, training staff to deal with an emergency and helping communities to create emergency management plans.

23 February 2018

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