A survey on emergency preparedness shows the top of the south is significantly more prepared for a disaster than most.
The survey, carried out last month by research company Colmar Brunton for Civil Defence, showed 63 per cent of Nelson and Marlborough residents had taken steps to protect themselves or their household against disaster during the last year. The national average was 51 per cent.
In addition, those who live in the top of the south were significantly more likely than the national average to have water and survival items stored up.
Sixty-two per cent of Nelson and Marlborough respondents thought emergency services would be there to help them in a disaster, compared with the 77 per cent national average.
Only 24 per cent believed there would always be adequate warning before a disaster, compared with a 36 per cent national average.
Nelson Tasman Emergency Management public information manager Angela Ricker said she had seen a "worrying downward trend" in preparedness in some areas following the Christchurch earthquakes.
"People are much less fully prepared and much less prepared at home according to this survey in 2013 than in 2011 after the Christchurch earthquakes.
"The reality is we live in a country with many fault lines, as the Seddon quakes have reminded us right in our own city, and we need to translate commitment to the idea of preparedness into action."
She recommended readers visit the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence website for information on emergency kits and household plans.
Civil Defence emergency management director John Hamilton said overall awareness was increasing steadily, which showed the Get Ready Get Thru campaign and last September's New Zealand ShakeOut drill had worked.
However, New Zealand still had a very low "benchmark".
"The percentages of people actually prepared are still low. We have no room for complacency."
In 2006, only 7 per cent of people were fully prepared for an emergency at home and elsewhere. This has more than doubled since then, but the final total of 17 per cent remains low.
Mr Hamilton said Civil Defence would continue to provide information and encourage people to make plans, but New Zealanders had to take the responsibility of having three days' worth of food, water and emergency supplies on hand; create a plan for what they would do in an emergency at home, work, school, or elsewhere; and keep their supplies updated.
Nelson Marlborough residents are: More likely than average to say that a flood (72 per cent compared with 56 per cent national average) or fire (39 per cent compared with 27 per cent national average) could occur in NZ in their lifetime Less likely than average to agree that ‘emergency services will be there to help you in a disaster' (62 per cent compared to 77 per cent national average) Less likely than average to agree ‘there will always be adequate warning before a disaster hits' (24 per cent compared to 36 per cent national average). Colmar Brunton survey
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