Civil Defence pushes the survival message

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 09:00 27/07/2013
nathan edwards
ARE YOU READY?: Nathan Edwards, from Civil Defence, shares emergency preparedness information at the Ideal Home Show.

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Surviving an earthquake is the essential first step toward getting through the aftermath, with Palmerston North's emergency management team keen to ensure people know what to do.

Civil Defence and Emergency head Stewart Davies encouraged visitors to the Ideal Home Show this weekend to stop by the stand and ask questions, while the experience of the Wellington earthquake was still fresh in their minds.

Mr Davies said advice about the emergency kits and preparations that would help people manage after any type of disaster would be available. However, the theme at the moment was to ensure people knew what to do for their personal safety during an earthquake.

While some types of emergencies developed slowly, giving people time to prepare, an earthquake usually came without warning. The first priority was for people to know what to do to give themselves the best chance of escaping unhurt.

The drop, cover and hold advice applied when people were inside a building, but some people were less certain what to do if they were surprised in a lift, when outdoors, or in a car.

Drop, cover and hold applied in every situation, except in a car.

The advice for drivers was to pull over to a clear location and stay put, with their seatbelt fastened, until the shaking stopped.

After the earthquake, drivers needed to carry on with caution, prepared to avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

They should stay alert to the possibility of falling debris or landslides in mountainous areas, near unstable slopes or cliffs.

People caught outdoors should not take more than a few steps away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines before applying the drop, cover and hold rule.

Those at the beach should move to higher ground once the shaking stopped.

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- Manawatu Standard

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