Here are some sensible preparations New Zealanders living or travelling overseas can take to ensure they are best prepared for unforeseen events like a natural disaster, major civil unrest or a deterioration to the security situation:
Ensure your passports are up to date and have a minimum of six months validity left on them. See the Department of Internal Affairs passport website for information on applying for a replacement passport
If you have recently had a child overseas, apply for New Zealand Citizenship and a New Zealand passport for the child as soon as possible. See the Department of Internal Affairs Department of Internal Affairs citizenship website for further information.
Replace your credit cards if they are about to expire,and organise your finances to ensure you have enough credit available to pay for unexpected flights and emergency accommodation.
Keep adequate supplies of essentials (an emergency kit) on hand in case you need to be self-sufficient for a few days or depart quickly. These could include:
Cash (in case banks close or ATMs run out)
Food and water to last several days
Essential medicines and a first aid kit
Torches and Radios (along with spare batteries)
Fuel in vehicles
Keep mobile phones and laptops charged at all times
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management Get Ready, Get Thru website has further helpful resources to consider.
Familiarise yourself with any contingency plans your company or place of employment may have in place to assist staff in the event of an emergency.
Have a departure plan in mind in advance – where will you go? How will you get there? Will you need to apply for entry visas in advance or will visas be issued on arrival? What arrangements will you need to put in place for any domestic staff, pets, your residence? For import requirements for pets see the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
Keep a bag packed for every member of the family so you are ready to relocate or depart at short notice.
Keep your essential documents in one secure place that is easily accessible to you at all times. This could also include a list of emergency contacts.
Ensure you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover your activities, personal liability, medical treatment, emergency medical evacuation, and any pre-existing medical conditions.
Keep your family and friends in New Zealand regularly informed of your plans and well-being if you’re in an area affected by a disaster or if the security situation deteriorates.
Monitor local news via radio and television for the latest information on an evolving situation and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Update your registration details on the SafeTravel website – including when you relocate or depart from the country.