Household emergency plans

Find out how you can make sure you, your family, and your workplace are prepared for an emergency.


How to prepare your household

  • Arrange and agree on a meeting point for your family in case you can’t get home or are unable to contact each other.
  • Plan for children and vulnerable family members.
  • Make sure your emergency contact details are up to date with schools or rest homes.

Do you prefer to hand write your emergency plan? Feel free to download and print the PDF paper version of the Make a Plan template, available in 24 languages.

  • We recommend storing 20 litres of water, per person, per day, for seven days. Change the water every 12 months. Before you drink the water, you'll need to treat it by bringing it to the boil.
  • Store enough food to last at least seven days. Make sure you check any emergency food supplies and replace them regularly. Make sure you also have food for babies, toddlers and pets.
  • Store some emergency supplies like a torch, battery-powered radio, hand sanitiser and toilet paper.
  • Have a grab-bag packed and ready to go. Kits should contain comfortable shoes, water and snacks, essential medication or copies of prescriptions, a lightweight raincoat, essential documents, a torch, gloves, radio and a small first aid kit.

How to pack a grab bag

Find out who in your neighbourhood might need extra help. If there's someone nearby who you know will need assistance during an emergency, speak with them and organise a plan in advance with your other neighbours.

  • Check if your home, work or school is in a tsunami evacuation zone.
  • Remember if an earthquake is long or strong – get gone. Don’t wait for an official warning. Move past a Blue Line.
  • Roads may be damaged, unusable or congested with traffic, or need to be prioritised for emergency services. You need a plan to be able to evacuate by foot, or bicycle.
  • Stay past the Blue Lines until the official “all clear” is given.

Civil Defence recommends storing at least 20 litres of water per person per day, to last at least seven days for drinking, cooking and basic hygiene. That means:

  • 1 person: 140 litres
  • 2 people: 280 litres
  • 4 people: 560 litres