Takatū ana te kāinga

Home Ready

Learn more about steps you can take to keep your household safe

Make a household emergency plan

Whether you live with your family, friends or flatmates, it is important to all be on the same page when it comes to what to do in an emergency.

A household emergency plan lets everyone in your household know what to do in an emergency and how to get ready. Having a plan helps make actual emergency situations less stressful.

Useful template to help you make a plan together:

Make a Plan PDF Template | English

Tailor your plan

Every household’s plan will be different, because of where we live, who lives with us and who might need our help.

When you’re making your household plan, remember to include everyone. Think about the requirements of disabled people, older people, babies, young children, pets and other animals.

Important things to talk about while making an emergency plan:

  • What will you do in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, flood or storm?
  • How and where will you meet up during and after a disaster? Think about what you will do if some of you are at work or school – how will you get home?
  • Where will you store emergency survival items and who will be responsible for maintaining supplies?
  • What will each household member need to have in their getaway kits and where will they keep them?
  • What will you need to do for members of the household, family or community with a disability or special requirement?
  • What will you need to do for your pets, domestic animals or livestock?
  • How and when will you turn off the water, electricity and gas in your home or business?
  • What local radio stations will you tune into for civil defence information during an event?
  • How will you contact Auckland Council's call centre for assistance during an emergency?
  • If life or property is threatened, dial 111.

Plan for your pets and other animals

Caring for babies and young children in an emergency

Advice for disabled people | getready.govt.nz

Work out what supplies you need in an emergency

In an emergency, you may be stuck at home for three days or more. Figure out what supplies you need and make a plan to work out what you need to get through.

Sheltering at home

You probably have most of the things you need already. You don’t have to have them all in one place, but you might have to find them in a hurry and/or in the dark.

  • Water for three days or more — make sure you have at least nine litres of water for every person. This will be enough for drinking and basic hygiene. Water doesn’t need to be commercially bottled. You can store water in clean plastic containers.
  • Long-lasting food that doesn’t need cooking (unless you have a camping stove or gas barbecue) and food for babies and pets.
  • Toilet paper and large plastic buckets for an emergency toilet.
  • Work gloves and a properly-fitted P2 or N95 mask.

If you have special dietary needs, make sure you have enough to last three days at home. As well as in a grab bag. If you have to evacuate, emergency shelters may not have the food that you need.

Some other items:

  • Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch
  • Radio with spare batteries
  • Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats and strong outdoor shoes
  • First aid kit and essential medicines
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Pet supplies
  • Water for washing and cooking
  • A primus or gas barbeque to cook on
  • A can opener.

If you rely on power, for example for medical reasons, please speak to your GP or medical provider about your needs and emergency plan.

Don't forget that you and your neighbours can help each other by sharing supplies too. 

By looking after yourself and your household, you'll also be helping emergency services focus their limited resources on the people who need the most help.

In a grab bag

Have grab bags ready for everyone in your family. A grab bag is a small bag with essential supplies.

Each bag should have:

  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, raincoat and hat
  • Water and snack food (remember babies and pets too)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Portable phone charger
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents and photo ID

Remember any medications you might need and keep your first aid kit, mask or face covering, torch, radio and batteries somewhere you can grab them in a hurry.

If you have special dietary needs, make sure you have the food you need in your grab bag too.

In your car

Plan ahead for what you will do if you are in your car when an emergency happens. A flood, snow storm or major traffic accident could leave you stranded in your vehicle for some time.

Keep essential emergency survival items in your car. If you are driving in extreme winter conditions, add:

  • a brush
  • a shovel
  • tire chains
  • windshield scrapers, and
  • warm clothing.

Store a pair of walking shoes, a waterproof jacket, essential medicines, snack food, water, a phone charger lead and a torch in your car.

Keep up to date with weather and road information when planning travel.

Plan a getaway kit in case you are required to evacuate

While you may not have all these items in one place, it is important to know where in your home they are. In some emergencies, you may need to evacuate in a hurry.

  • Torch and radio with spare batteries
  • Any special needs such as hearing aids and spare batteries, glasses or mobility aids
  • Emergency water and easy-to-carry food rations such as energy bars and dried foods. If you have any special dietary requirements, ensure you have extra supplies
  • First aid kit and essential medicines
  • Essential items for infants or young children such as formula and food, nappies and a favourite toy
  • Change of clothes (wind/waterproof clothing and strong outdoor shoes)
  • Toiletries – towel, soap, toothbrush, sanitary items, toilet paper
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Face and dust masks
  • Pet supplies.

Check in with your friends and neighbours

In an emergency you are not on your own, you’re with your community. Now is a good time to connect with your neighbours and exchange contact details so you'll be ready if an emergency situation occurs. Plus, it can make everyday life much more enjoyable!

Get involved in your community’s events






resources & Tools

  • Make a plan – Is your family ready for an emergency? Use this online template to help you and your whānau get prepared.

  • What’s the Plan Stan? - Kids Activity Book – Help your children learn about and prepare for emergencies by downloading this fun kids book filled with lots of great activities from colouring-in to word searches.

  • What’s the Plan Stan? - Online Game – Looking for a fun game to learn more about emergencies? Play this augmented reality game to learn more about being prepared across a range of different emergencies.

  • Looking for resources in different languages? You can filter our resources library by language to find what you need.