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Sunday, 30 October 2011

What's in your emergency kit?

The basics in your survival kit is set out clearly by Civil Defence - Get Ready, Get Thru.  These items include the following:

  • torches;
  • portable battery powered radio;
  • non-perishable food (enough for 3 days or more) - canned food, dried food, long-life milk, special dietary requirements;
  • can opener (manual);
  • water (at least 3 litres per person per day);
  • plastic storage containers and plastic bags;
  • emergency toilet: plastic pail, toilet paper, large rubbish bags;
  • first aid kit or items to top up kit;
  • essential medicines;
  • wind and waterproof clothing;
  • sun hats, sunscreen, insect repellant;
  • strong outdoor shoes;
  • blankets or sleeping bags;
  • face and dust masks;
  • primus or gas barbeque;
  • baby's emergency items: food, formula and drink, change of clothing and nappies;
  • pet supplies;
  • toiletries; and 
  • getaway kit - a small bag with essential items in case you have to leave in a hurry.

These are the basic essentials.  But what about the personal items, such as family photographs, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, jewellery, etc, do you know where these are?  All in one place ready to grab in a few seconds?  Hopefully by now you have copied all your photos on to a memory stick.  The 8 GB memory storage sticks are great.  Any other treasures?  Of course you need to figure out now exactly what you would consider your treasure.  Everyone's treasure is personal.

However at the end of the day, in an actual emergency, a life takes precedence over your treasures.  That's universal law of common sense.

Lastly, I've stumbled upon a great choice of food to include in your kit.  It's the Cookie Time One Square Meal bar.  Check it out, support 'New Zealand Made' - oh and they have chocolate now too!

So there you are, those of you reading this may not have your kit ready, but at least now you are thinking about it right and hey, that's a start.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Preparedness for the expected and unexpected....

What is your definition of preparedness?  Could you be more prepared for an expected event than an unexpected event?

Say for example just for definition sake, the RWC 2011 opening night was a planned expected event.  But just how ready was Auckland?

Without delving too much into the political arena, many would argue it began and started as a natural disaster (excuse the pun).  Others may argue a natural disaster because it was natural for the Auckland infrastructure to show areas of deficiency given the way it was set up to fail.  BTW I admire and have the utmost respect for those who starred on the 'accountability billboard' and became the face of 'faux pas' as a consequence of the opening night issues - despite the fact that it was not their 'faux pas' to own. Everyone knew it.  It showed great character and fortitude and it also revealed the goodies and the baddies. Oops is this getting political, hard not to in Auckland...back to the issue.

In the end you could say it was an unexpected event due to the unexpected number of people who turned up on the night.  Who would have thought to factor in the perfect hot spring day and the Tongan patriotic fanatical support which expectedly contributed to a high fan turnout.  Therefore Auckland, could you even be prepared for an expected event?

An example of an unexpected event (slightly geographically off course) is the recent grounding of the container vessel Rena off the coast of Tauranga.

This resulted in a natural disaster of the highest degree with regard to the damage to the ecological systems and natural environment, not to mention the animal life from the oil. You could say it was an 'expected unexpected' as there are laws and legislation in this country to address such disaster.  But despite this the laws were not adequate to counter such an event.  Unexpected, expected, call it what you will, even NZ was not prepared.

Key message for today:  Expected or unexpected, can you be ever be fully prepared for any event.  The answer is no.  However, we must do something and not nothing.  With all the technology and information at our fingertips and disposal, we must try our utmost best to be prepared.  And lastly we must look at history and past events to learn from, to use for our future plans, for preparedness for a natural disaster.

Come on people, must we rely on Piri to do everything?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tornado in Avondale???!!!

And around the corner a sleeping tornado woke up in the sleepy suburb of Avondale! Yes, west of Auckland on Sunday afternoon, 11 September 2011 at approximately 1 pm. In and around Canal Road, the west got a taste, as did the north a few months back, of the devastation a tornado could cause within seconds. Luckily there were no fatalities and the damage was considerably less than that of the one in North Shore, nonetheless, damage was done to homes, much to the bewilderment of locals. Many were left wondering...but why?  Pointless damage mother nature!  Why was she so upset???

Here is a photo taken on Canal Road courtesy of NZ Herald - Richard Robinson.

I pray a tornado will never visit my street and suburb any time soon.

Snow in Auckland??!!!!

OK, I know I've been missing in action for a couple of months, for great reason of course that's another story, but what's up Auckland with the snow recently????  I know this is a delayed reaction, still reeling in utter shock, like a stunned mullet....I myself was indoors high up in a building oblivious to the freakish weather having decided the biting cold wind was just not for me.  I didn't realise the extent of the sprinkle of white flakes until watching the news that evening.  Thank goodness I don't live in Wellington!

This photo was taken in Parnell courtesy of 3News taken by Ashley Abbott.

Another freakish natural phenomena which makes me think.....what's around the corner Auckland?