Power Cut a Wake-up Call for Wellingtonians

23 April 2010

Wellington's Emergency Preparedness Manager says this afternoon's power cut was a "suitable wake-up call" for Wellingtonians to be prepared for a very large quake or other big emergency.

"The power was only off for about an hour today - but after a quake or another big emergency we may be without electricity - and other services - for days or weeks," says Fred Mecoy.

"The number of people I spoke to this afternoon who didn't have even a battery-powered radio in their workplace or home was quite a cause for worry. As a result, people were struggling to find out what was going on around the city.

"People need torches, spare batteries, portable lanterns, non-perishable food and all the other obvious emergency supplies not only at home but also in the office and other workplaces," Mr Mecoy says.

"We should also all think about how we're going to get home - or where we're going to stay in the central business district (CBD) - if transport is knocked out by a power cut or other big disruption.

"How many of us have a strong pair of good walking shoes or sneakers under our desk at work? Imagine what it'd be like having to walk from the CBD to Porirua or the Hutt in a pair of black dress shoes or high heels?"

Mr Mecoy adds that if anyone wants to know more about how to be prepared at home or at work, visit:

Get Ready Get Thru website

"Community preparedness is also important.  If power was out for several days or weeks with no TV, phones, cellphones or internet, how would you get information? 

"This is where your local Civil Defence Emergency Management volunteer group would help you. Make sure you know where your local centre is. However, there is a city-wide shortage of volunteers and we are recruiting now. 

"If you'd like to know what's involved, or would like any further information, please feel free to call on (04) 460 0650 or check out the Emergency Management section of this website:"