Planning on heading to the beach this summer? Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan is reminding all New Zealanders to be “tsunami ready” over the holiday break.
“New Zealand’s entire coastline is at risk of tsunami. That means most of us live near, or visit places that are at risk,” Kiri Allan said.
“When you’re hitting the beach, it’s important that you’re tsunami ready as well as sun smart.
“Remember the “Long or Strong, Get Gone” mantra, and make sure you check the local evacuation zones so if you have to evacuate, you know where to go.”
Kiri Allan says it’s also important to factor in COVID-19 into your emergency planning.
“Make sure you pack face coverings in your grab bag and holiday luggage. Remember that evacuations will always override any “stay at home” restrictions, but if you need to evacuate, try to keep two metres distance from others.”
The results from this year’s Annual Disaster Preparedness survey, commissioned by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) shows 85 percent of New Zealanders are aware they need to evacuate if they are near the coast and a long or strong earthquake happens.
NEMA‘s Long or Strong Get Gone campaign, being rolled out this summer, reinforces that message and reminds Kiwis of the right actions to take.
“Most of the tsunami New Zealand experiences aren’t large enough to flood land areas and cause major destruction. But that’s no reason to be complacent. Even small tsunami can generate strong currents and surges that could result in injury or death,” Kiri Allan said.
When a larger tsunami that could cause flooding of land areas is expected, people will need to move out of all tsunami evacuation zones. An Emergency Mobile Alert will be issued to areas under threat and warnings will be provided via radio, TV and on www.civildefence.govt.nz .
For a local source tsunami, which is generated close to the New Zealand coast and could arrive in minutes, there won’t be time for an official warning. It is important to recognise the natural warning signs and act quickly – Long or Strong, Get Gone.
“There is never a better time than now to learn more about your tsunami risk, know how to prepare and to update your plan to keep your whānau safe,” Kiritapu Allan said.
Find out more about being tsunami ready at www.getready.govt.nz