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New Zealanders’ preparedness for emergencies is increasing.
Statistics New Zealand today released the latest information from the New Zealand General Social Survey 2010 (NZGSS). The 2010 survey showed 18 percent of households have enough food and water for three days and a household emergency plan. These are the basic requirements needed to help survive a natural disaster. In 2008, 15 percent of households met the basic requirements.
The improvement in preparedness is driven by significant regional increases in Canterbury and Wellington. "Canterbury was the most prepared region in 2010, with 1 in 4 homes meeting the basic requirements," Deputy Government Statistician for Social and Population Statistics Vince Galvin said. "The proportion of Canterbury homes meeting the basic requirements has nearly doubled since 2008."
Auckland homes remain less prepared than households in other regions, with 1 in 10 meeting all three basic requirements.
However, many New Zealand households are still not prepared for a natural disaster. The results show one-parent families are most at risk, being less prepared than other family types.
The 2010 survey was underway for several months before and after 4 September 2010, when the first large Canterbury earthquake struck. A previous media release, New Zealanders more prepared for disasters following Canterbury quake, showed that the September earthquake spurred thousands of New Zealand households to improve their emergency preparedness, especially those in Canterbury and Wellington. The 2010 survey finished shortly after the 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake, so the results do not reflect the full impact of that earthquake on preparedness.
The NZGSS measures the overall well-being of New Zealanders and shows how different population groups are faring. It collects information on emergency preparedness from over 8,000 individuals. This information complements information collected by other agencies. The NZGSS puts preparedness into a context of wider information about well-being and social outcomes.
The survey runs for 12 months, from April to March, every second year. See New Zealand General Social Survey for more information.
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management will soon release its annual assessment of the ‘Get ready get thru’ public education campaign. The results are expected to be consistent with the NZGSS findings of increasing preparedness, with room for improvement.