Get Ready Week

Natural disaster emergencies can happen anywhere, any time, and without warning. Make sure you and the people you care about are ready to get through by knowing the different ways to stay informed.

Get Ready Week (9-15 October) is held every year in New Zealand to mark the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction (13 October). It's organised by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. This year’s theme is Stay Safe, Stay Informed.

View NZSL video


Stay Safe Stay Informed image 


Find out which radio stations to listen to, which websites and social media to follow and how to get to know your neighbours at .

Make a plan with your family that includes how you’ll stay informed, what to do if you’re not at home, who can help you and who might need your help at .

Here's a quick guide for those with disability

Establish a personal support network

It’s really important to have a good personal support network, which might include local family members, carers, co-workers or neighbours. If you have needs relating to your impairment, make sure these people know how they can help you, for example, by being shown how to use any personal equipment.

Reach out to your neighbours if you need help or can offer someone help. Find out if your area has Neighbourhood Support at or call 0800 463 444. Or your community may have a Facebook Group, an email group or telephone tree that you can join – and if there isn’t one, perhaps it’s time to set one up.

Create a personal emergency plan

Your personal emergency plan should include what you will do in an emergency, how you will communicate with your network, and a list of what you will need to get you through. It’s a good idea to plan for different scenarios, e.g. at home in bed, can’t get home, can’t get to your usual medical centre for regular treatment, or your usual carer can’t reach you.

Find out what local warning and information systems are in place in your community – if you’re not sure, contact the emergency management team at the local council. If you're unable to receive these warnings or information updates, make sure your support network knows this as you will need to rely on them to keep you informed.

Assemble emergency and getaway kits

Make up emergency kits to keep at home, in your car and at your office. Include essential items, such as any equipment you need (labelled with your name in case you become separated).

Always have at least 7 days’ of medications available to you and make provisions for those that need to be refrigerated.

If you have difficulty understanding, remembering, or learning, keep a simple list of what to do and any important information with you, and in your emergency and getaway kits.

Disability assistance dogs

If you have an assistance dog ensure it’s certified, e.g. with the Blind Foundation, and has an identification tag. This ensures the dog will be able to enter civil defence centres and will help if the dog needs to be reunited with its handler.

And, remember a dog needs a getaway kit too – food, any medications, vaccination records, identification and harnesses.

Further guidance and resources

Download factsheet from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management  - includes information about what to do in an earthquake to protect yourself, e.g. Drop, Cover and Hold and the recommended alternatives for people with impairments.

Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group also has some very good information, including a handy booklet.

Tell us what you think

Page last updated: