Recovering from Christmas might mean recovering after an emergency is the last thing on your mind. You might also think you need to spend money you just don’t have right now on stocking an emergency kit.

You’d be wrong!

You don’t need kits. Believe it or not, your house and everything in it can help you in an emergency.  

The food you have in your pantry right now is your emergency food – and unlike a stash of stored food, it’s unlikely to go off as it’s in use every day. Build your pantry up over time when you can - when there’s a special at the supermarket, grab an extra tin for the pantry. A bag of rice or dried pasta, with a tin of soup will go a long way in an emergency – having extras of these doesn’t take up much room and is relatively cheap. Use the empty fizzy and juice bottles from your recycling bin to store your emergency water (20 litres each for a week).

The toilet paper in your bathroom now is what you’ll use in an emergency – avoid getting down to the last roll! The blankets on your bed, the clothes you have, any containers you have, spare plastic bags, the band aids in the bathroom are all things you can use. The list of things in your home that you can use is really long.

Your friends, neighbours and whanau are another free thing that can help in an emergency. Invite the neighbours over for a pot-luck barbie if the weather is ever nice enough. Talk to your whanau about what you will all do if an emergency happens. Connecting with people around you and sharing what you all have means everyone can get through emergencies together.

No one wants to spend money on things you might not need and you shouldn’t have to.  Have a look at what you already have. Keep stocked up and remember, be resourceful, rather than resourced.

  • Look around your home and see how long you could last without shopping – what could you do to extend that time?
  • You don’t need to buy an expensive survival kit.
  • Get to know the people around you, sharing resources after an emergency will benefit everyone.

If you have any issues on emergency preparedness that you’d like discussed in this column, email us at 

Released: 1
6 January 2017