Emergency Preparedness

When an emergency happens, you need to be able to look after yourself and those in your care for at least three days. Check out what supplies you should have at hand on https://getthru.govt.nz/emergency-survival-items.


It may seem like commonsense, but if you have a FIRE IN YOUR FLAT, remember:

  • You have 3 minutes to GET OUT safely!
  • Expect to feel disorientated in the toxic smoke! GET DOWN, GET LOW, GET OUT!
  • Shout to others: “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!”
  • Follow your ESCAPE PLAN – talk about it and practice as part of your flat agreement!  

Ask yourselves THREE questions:

  • What are the safe ways OUT?
  • How will we all make sure EVERYONE gets out?
  • Where will you all meet SAFELY?

In the event of a fire, call 111 and ask for ‘FIRE’. Give your name, address, suburb and city. Stay on the line! Meet with flatties and guests at your SAFE MEETING PLACE. Account for anyone missing. DON’T go back inside!

Prevention is BEST:

  • Check SMOKE ALARMS regularly (use broom handle to press button), replace batteries and don’t remove or move these without your landlord’s consent.
  • Use ELECTRIC heaters rather than LPG gas and remember the HEATER METRE rule!
  • Clean out your bloody lint catcher in the drier. This should be done after every use.
  • Don’t light fires – including in your recycle or rubbish bins!
  • 1 in 4 fires start in the KITCHEN. Don’t drink and fry or leave the room when cooking!
  • 1 in 6 fires start in the BEDROOM. Never leave CANDLES unattended and use correct LIGHT BULB size and rating (watts) in lamps. And close your bedroom door at night – a closed door can majorly reduce smoke inhalation in the event of a fire.
  • Replace ELECTRIC BLANKETS or get them checked regularly. Roll them for storage – don’t fold – and put heavy objects on top of the bed when they’re on. Turn OFF before you sleep! Make sure cords are not twisted!
  • Keep a torch or phone handy at night.
  • Appliances: turn off when not in use, keep away from water, use ‘safety tested’ second-hand appliances, don’t use if faulty and allow space and airflow around them.
  • ONE heater or appliance per plug. Don’t overload multi-boards or plug one multi-board into another multi-board. Uncurl extension leads when in use.
  • Heat WHEATBAGS safely – use them to heat your body and not your bed, don’t overheat them and keep them moist with a mister bottle. Leave them to cool in a safe, non-combustible place.


  • Dunedin is located on Otago’s most active fault, so make sure you’ve outlined a plan to minimise this risk.
  • Talk about your EMERGENCY PLAN as part of your flatting agreement – identify SAFE places inside and outside your flat.
  • During a quake – DROP, COVER, HOLD.
  • Stay INSIDE until shaking STOPS, under stable furniture or by internal walls.
  • Go outside only when safe to do so, into an OPEN SPACE away from power lines and trees.
  • LISTEN to and follow Civil Defence emergency advice.