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Published: 2010-09-06 00:00:00

Waikato Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) group is on standby to provide help to authorities in Canterbury in the wake of Saturday’s earthquake.

Waikato Coordinating Executive Group chair Langley Cavers said any requests for Waikato civil defence help would be made through the Ministry of CDEM, National Crisis Management Centre.

"One of the things that Waikato people can do now is to be prepared to contribute to any Mayoral funds set up for people who may not qualify for other forms of assistance because, for example, they do not have adequate insurance cover," said Mr Cavers.

"This is a trying time for the people of Canterbury and it would be good if we can be as supportive as we can. The Waikato CDEM Group is ready to help when requested."

Mr Cavers said the disaster showed how important it was for people to be prepared for an emergency such as Saturday’s earthquake.

"The wider Waikato region is exposed to a range of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami and river flooding.

"But a recent survey in the Waikato showed only eight per cent of respondents were fully prepared.

"Waikato people do need to do more to be prepared. I strongly urge people to visit our website www.waikatoregioncdemg.govt.nz/ for tips on how to prepare for disaster and what to do when one strikes."

Examples of good preparedness include:

· Having an emergency plan

· Having emergency items and water

· Regularly updating emergency survival items

· Having an emergency plan which covers what to do when not at homes

"The results highlight the urgent need for Waikato residents to make a start now to be better prepared to deal with the impacts of an emergency," said Mr Cavers.

"The Canterbury quake shows disaster can strike at any time."