News Story

Young Couple Inspires Preparedness

Auckland residents Melissa and Joe Heke demonstrated to a large audience at Onepoto School last Saturday what their family has done to prepare for a disaster. 

Since receiving a wedding gift consisting of a backpack filled with emergency items, the couple have researched and refined their 72-hour emergency kits, adding to the necessary items each time a child was born to their family. 

Joe has even trialed the pack by going to the backcountry and surviving for a few days using only the items in the pack, which he says helped him find out what works and how to make it better.  Each of their three children has their own backpack with some food items, warm clothing and medical needs.

“We strongly believe that every family needs to be prepared for an emergency, and should not just rely on government or council to come to their aid,” says Melissa. 

This sentiment was echoed by Brett England, from the North Shore Civil Defence.  He reiterated that if the home is still standing and is safe, families should stay in their own homes after a disaster occurs.  Evacuation centres and emergency facilities should be the last resort, and it is important that families are prepared ahead of time for the possibility of a disaster, such as those which have occurred recently in New Zealand and around the world.

The free emergency preparedness seminar was sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Civil Defence, and the Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust.  Miriama Rapana from the Kaipatiki Trust assisted in organising the event and Bishop James McIntyre, from the Takapuna Ward (congregation) of the Church, convened the meeting. 

Afterwards, each family was given a free 20 litre sealable bucket and a wind-up torch/radio, donated by the Church.  Information about other suggested items was also provided to assist attendees to become better prepared for possible emergencies.  

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