Auckland Emergency Management has released New Zealand’s first emergency preparedness handbook for lifestyle block owners.
It says the handbook is designed to help owners prepare for and get through an emergency.
Auckland Emergency Management General Manager, Paul Amaral says many lifestyle block owners new to rural life often lack the necessary information, resources and networks needed before, during and following an emergency event.
“The more you plan ahead, the better off you’ll be when it comes to caring for yourself, your family and your animals should disaster strike,” he says.
The Lifestyle Block Emergency Preparedness Handbook gives practical advice on how to make a property more resilient to emergency events and what to do in specific emergencies.
The practical step-by-step advice aims to help owners create a detailed emergency plan to keep themselves, their whānau and animals safe.
MPI Animal Welfare Programmes Manager, Georgina Kemp says the practical steps outlined in the handbook will give lifestyle block owners a high level of reassurance.
“We can’t control nature, but we can decide what precautions to take ahead of time to help keep animals safe in an emergency,” says Ms Kemp.
Fire and Emergency’s National Manager Community Readiness and Recovery, Steve Turek said properties in areas of urban/rural interface are at greater risk of wildfire, due to the increased presence of nearby vegetation which can quickly carry a fire.
“These properties can be isolated and some distance from help or cut off from the outside world when an emergency occurs,” he said.
Packed full of essential fire information and links to resources, Mr Turek said the handbook shows property owners how to plan, prepare and recover no matter what the fire season is.
FMG works with lifestyle block owners to help them prepare for emergency events, including having the right insurances in place so they’re able to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
FMG Head of Clients Strategy & Advice Services, Stephen Cantwell, says, “Our assessors are often some of the first on the ground to respond to specific emergencies such as flood, storms, and other weather events in rural and provincial areas. Through this experience we’ve learnt that lifestyle blocks bring their own set of risks.
“We’d encourage lifestyle block owners to use this handbook to prepare and build resilience. There’s a lot of great information in this resource that can make a significant difference in the event of an emergency.”
The information in the handbook has been developed by Auckland Council’s Auckland Emergency Management, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), and Farmers Mutual Group (FMG).