New announcement. Learn more

Our Blog


Preparing for the big one, just in case

A few weeks ago, I felt my first ever earthquake.
I heard it coming before I felt it. Many people had told me that an earthquake sounds like a truck driving towards your house, and they weren’t wrong.
“What’s that noise?” I asked my husband. “An earthquake,” he replied, as the first jolt hit our house.
The shaking was strong but it didn’t last long. But when my seven-year-old son asked if our house was going to fall down and if we’d be buried like so many people in the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria had been, I realised we weren’t prepared for The Big One.
A few days after the earthquake, I had coffee with a friend who admitted she wasn’t prepared for The Big One either. They had some bottled water high up in the back of a cupboard, but it was at least six years old so who knew if it was still OK. Her kids had emptied the first aid kit of Superman plasters, and she wasn’t sure if the matches they’d used at a recent birthday party had been put back in their proper place. Her failings made me feel marginally better about my own, but the conversation made us both realise that we needed to be better.
I was a Girl Guide for a large chunk of my childhood. The Girl Guide motto to “always be prepared” was hammered into me and my sash-wearing peers regularly. Recent natural disasters have proven to us that it’s always a good thing to be prepared. So why am I not prepared now?
Now my family has a grab bag. It sits at the front door so it’s easy to grab in case we ever need to leave our house quickly. In it is a bit of food, some water, a first aid kit, a change of clothes for each of us, and a few other essentials like toilet paper, a torch, and a phone charger. Technically a grab bag is meant to have a raincoat and shoes for each of us too, but I figure that they’re also by the front door so they should be easy enough to grab at the same time.
After Cyclone Gabrielle and seeing how long we could be without power, running water, internet and cell coverage if The Big One ever did hit, we’ve been prompted to think about how we can function at home without our usual creature comforts. My husband’s colleague who lives in Gisborne put big plastic containers under the downpipes on his home to collect rainwater, because the mains supply had been contaminated and they didn’t know how long they’d need to rely on bottled water for. Torches, batteries, solar-powered appliances and always having a full gas bottle for the BBQ are good ideas too.
Hopefully The Big One (or The Big Anything) will never happen and my grab bag is only ever a precaution. But just in case, I feel much better knowing my family is that little bit more prepared.


This product has been added to your cart