Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today launched a DVD designed to give potentially life-saving advice on emergency planning to the deaf and hearing impaired.
"Deaf Aotearoa has collaborated with the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management to produce this valuable resource," Mr Carter said.
It is estimated that about 10 percent of New Zealand's population have hearing difficulties of some degree. Information is provided in New Zealand Sign Language and is also captioned.
"Public education is essential to ensure New Zealand is resilient to the number of natural hazards we are vulnerable to including earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity and weather related emergencies," Mr Carter said.
Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia said she welcomed the initiative and that it was important to include everyone in safety messages, including people with disabilities.
"This DVD encourages those who are deaf or have significant hearing impairment to plan ahead for their specific requirements in an emergency. It focuses on developing an emergency plan with friends, family and neighbours," Mrs Turia said.
"It also provides valuable advice to those who may be caring for someone with a hearing impairment, encouraging them to plan ahead and build a support network to help in an emergency."
"We all need to be prepared and know what to do when disaster strikes," Mr Carter said.
"The message is simple. All individuals and communities have a responsibility to look after themselves and their loved ones for at least three days, possibly more, until help can get to them.
"This resource is part of a wider public education programme that includes the Get Ready Get Thru website, radio and television advertising, brochures and the What's the Plan Stan? education resource for primary schools.
"The best way to get through an emergency event is to be prepared, and I can't stress that enough."
A good way for everyone to get prepared is to use our region's fabulous planning guide - called "It's Easy - Get Prepared for an Emergency" - which you can download here.