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4 December 2018

For any disaster you need a plan

A disaster plan can be the difference between finding friends and family in a secure location or being lost and separated. You should be familiar with your plan and be ready to act on it in case the unthinkable happens. Along with your disaster plan, you should have a go bag, and copies of all important documents and be familiar with emergency evacuation routes and shelters in your area. An emergency plan for your family can make a world of difference

We’ll look at the best things to do in an emergency and what to do once the danger has passed.

  • Remain calm.
  • Put safety first.
  • Stay where you are unless it is unsafe, or you are officially told to leave. Moving around only puts you at greater risk.
  • If necessary to keep safe, turn off electricity, gas or water mains.
  • Be prepared to move into a safer part of your building.
  • In an earthquake, get under something sturdy or find an open space. If you're indoors, stay put. If you're outside, get away from tall objects that may collapse or fall. If you're in a car, stop quickly, stay there and shelter in place.
  • During a flood or a tsunami, the critically important thing is to get to higher ground. 
  • Seek help from those around you and offer to help others.
  • Don't use the telephone except to report immediate emergencies.
  • Listen to local radio stations for official warnings and advice.

Evacuating

If you are officially told to evacuate, take

  • your survival kit and important documents
  • warm clothes and sturdy shoes
  • a radio and torches 

If it is unsafe to stay where you are, arrange shelter for yourself and pets. If possible, try neighbours, friends or family first.

Immediately after a natural disaster

  • Make sure you and those around you are safe. Follow the instructions of Civil Defence or other emergency management professionals at all times.
  • Administer first aid to those who need it.
  • Listen to the radio.

And in the aftermath

Contact your insurer as soon as you can.

It's important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after an event. They'll be able to advise you on the best next steps to take and any information they need from you.

  1. Your insurance provider can tell you what they need from you and what you can and can't do with damaged goods or buildings.
  2. Take pictures of any damage. This will help at claim time.
  3. Act safely to prevent any more damage. Try to make buildings safe and weatherproof where possible but don't start non-essential repairs without your insurer's approval.
  4. Keep all damaged items for inspection, unless they present a risk to health. Check with your insurer before throwing out contaminated or perishable items. If you have to throw things out, take photos and make a list.
  5. Get essential services repaired, including water, electricity, gas and sewerage. Keep copies of the bills for your insurer.