December 2011 has arrived and yes most if not all of you are thinking - where did the year go.
It's that time when we get excited about the holidays, Christmas get-togethers and a gear down from the year, but also there's a part which is just dreading the chaotic scramble and madness from people flocking to do their shopping. And people get so stressed and wound up. Go on, do it all online it's so much easier and they deliver too.
So, it just so happened that I was in the CBD during the Farmers Santa Parade recently. Having encountered the road blocks, I got caught up in the traditional Christmas cheer that is hard to avoid during this time of year. Being a good sport, I too was one cheering for the impressive floats which have vastly improved over the years since my early memory of the parade when I was about five years old. Not bad at all Farmers and other stakeholders that were involved including Auckland Council. To top it all off, they offered a free entertainment show for the kids, free candyfloss and even photos superimposed on a mock front page of a newspaper which headlined 'Santa's Stowaways.'
But wait, what impressed me the most was not Santa and his broken finger, but this...
A Get Ready, Get Thru booth smack bang in the middle of Aotea Square!
Auckland Council in partnership with Civil Defence and Emergency Management had set up an excellent information booth to raise awareness on preparedness for natural disasters. Magnificent. The effort to raise awareness on the day was great. I was actually standing in the line for a hotdog and was approached by a lady from the booth who then gave me an information pack. They came to me. Great stuff. Everyone in the vicinity got one.
The theme for the information in the bag was targeted at children and was called: 'What's the Plan Stan?' with a picture of a cute dog all geared up as a disaster management officer. It was designed as a resource for schools.
Great catchy branding! I'm so excited, I'm now going to share what was in the bag. It contained an educational activity book on the different types of natural disasters, stickers of Stan the dog, a balloon of Stan the dog and a vital brochure which states in 4 steps 'how to get ready.'
The brochure clearly outlined:
1. Learn about the disasters that can affect you.
2. Create and practise a household emergency plan.
3. Assemble and maintain emergency survival items.
4. Have a getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry.
Great stuff! Every household needs one.
You can find out more at the following link:
If you get a chance, please check it out!
Wishing everybody a merry Christmas and a safe new year 2012...
and those not celebrating Christmas, happy holidays...