Kia mataara is the call to be alert, especially in times of danger.
Even if the latest severe weather warning below turns into nothing but a low pressure front, it’s a timely reminder to everyone to stay alert and get ready now.
KAI AND WAI: Have enough non-perishables like canned or powdered goods, rice and pasta to feed everyone in the whare for at least three to four days. Every time you empty any 3 litre bottle of milk, juice or even bleach, scrub it out, fill with water and store it. And if you know there's a big blow coming, fill the bath so you can use it like an inside tank.
MAHANA AND MAROKE: Even though we live in Te Hiku, we should have a stock of warm blankets, gloves, mittens, socks, beanies, hoodies, raincoats, oilskins and gumboots.
TAONGIA AND TĀMAHANA: A generator is handy to have, but a fireplace with a grill or a wood stove and plenty of wood are ideal in a power cut. Otherwise a camping stove, BBQ or primus will do. But make sure there’s plenty of ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and have plenty of backup gas and waterproof matches handy. Don't just rely on lighters.
WHAKAWHITIWHITI KORERO AND WHAKAPIRIPIRI: Stay in touch with what’s going on by having a battery or motion operated radio in the whare, or a cellphone with cord and car charger. Also, know where everyone is and agree how to get in touch if you’re separated, like a text every twelve hours, or a prearranged meeting place. And take special care of our kuia kaumātua, tamariki mokopuna.
RONGOA AND KOPE: If anyone in the whānau is on prescription medicines, have enough to last a few days and keep them in a container with at least a sharp pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, sterile bandages, disinfectant, antibiotic ointment, and over-the-counter painkillers. Also have a supply of anything else vital to your particular whānau like nappies and sanitary supplies.
NGĀMAHI AND NGAHAU: Have things to do that stop the whanau from going pōrangi with boredom; a deck of playing cards, board games, books, mahi toi, handcrafts. Use the time to kōrero, write, draw, plan a future event or just stay in bed and chill. Engari kia tūpato; it’s no accident that the birth rate often goes up nine months after an emergency.
WHATINGA AND WHAKAORA: In case you do have to leave in a hurry, make sure your waka is full of gas. And make sure you have tools on hand to help you leave, like a shovel in the boot to dig yourself or others out at any time.
NGĀ MEA ERA ATU: After any emergency is over, check your whānau whanui, whare and whenua for any damage, fix what you can, call in help for what you can’t, then restock your supplies.
Runga ake i ngā wā katoa, kia mataara