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Earthquake anniversary reminder to be prepared

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“We can’t predict when disaster will strike, but we can be prepared.”

That’s the message from Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Ian Macdonald, as Hawke’s Bay communities commemorate the devastating events of 1931.

The anniversary of the Hawke’s Bay earthquake is a reminder of New Zealand’s vulnerability to earthquakes, Mr Macdonald said.

“Sunday marked 88 years since the magnitude 7.8 quake that rocked our region, causing widespread devastation and claiming 256 lives.

“While the memory of the quake is still fresh in the minds of those who lived through it, it’s much easier for the rest of our community to push it to the back of our minds.

“But everyone needs to have enough food and water stored for three days or more, and a plan that includes what to do if you can’t get home, who can help you, and who might need your help.”

Mr Macdonald said many people didn’t realise what goes on behind the scenes to make communities as resilient as possible to emergencies.

“We tend to think of Civil Defence as an organisation that responds only when there’s an emergency – but there’s a lot that goes on before they happen to make sure we’re all improving our resilience to events.

“One of our vital functions is to work with communities to identify natural hazards and risks and help them prepare for emergencies,” Mr Macdonald said.

“I can’t emphasise enough that being prepared means ourselves and our loved ones will get through better and recover faster from natural disasters or other emergencies.

“We all have a role to play in creating a resilient community, so I urge everyone to do everything they can to protect what is most valuable to them – their families and their homes.”

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency, visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or follow Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook.

5 February 2019

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