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New Zealand General Social Survey 2008 Fact Sheet: Natural disaster preparation at home

The New Zealand General Social Survey 2008 (NZGSS) asked people what preparations their households had made for a natural disaster. This information helps determine how prepared New Zealand households are for natural disasters. This information can also be used to find out which types of households are the most and least prepared, and to monitor changes over time.

For this fact sheet, three groupings of natural disaster preparations are used to assess how prepared New Zealand households are for a natural disaster. The groups, created in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, are as follows:

  • Basic preparation: household has a three-day supply of food and water, and a household emergency plan.
  • Better preparation: household has a torch, portable radio, spare batteries, first aid kit and essential medicines, as well as a three-day supply of food and water, and a household emergency plan.
  • Damage mitigation: household has secured heavy and tall furniture, and/or a secured hot-water cylinder.

Natural disaster preparations of New Zealand households

  • 15 percent of households had all the requirements needed for basic preparation. Ten percent of households did not have any basic preparation.
    • While most households (87 percent) had food for three days, less than half (41 percent) had a three-day supply of water and one-quarter (26 percent) had a household emergency plan.
  • Fewer households (11 percent) had all the requirements needed for better preparation.
  • Of households that had heavy and tall furniture, one-quarter (26 percent) had it secured. Three-quarters (73 percent) of households with a hot-water cylinder had it secured.

The graph below shows a range of natural disaster preparations collected in the NZGSS from the most common (warm clothes) to the least common (household emergency plan). It shows that households are more likely to have items that are in everyday use.

Graphs, Natural Disaster Preperations of New Zealand Households.

Note: Results have been weighted to represent the number of households in New Zealand.
 

Household emergency plan

Households that had an emergency plan (26 percent of households) were more likely to have the other requirements needed for basic and better preparation, and for damage mitigation than households without a plan. For instance, 60 percent of those with an emergency plan had a three-day supply of water compared with 34 percent of those without an emergency plan.
 Graph, Households with and without emergency plan.

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Owner-occupied and rented homes

  • Households in owner-occupied homes were almost twice as likely as renters to have basic preparation (17 percent compared with 10 percent, respectively) and better preparation (12 percent compared with 7 percent, respectively).
  • One-in-three (29 percent) owner-occupied homes that had heavy and tall furniture had it secured, compared with one-in-five (20 percent) rented homes. However, the likelihood of having a secured hot-water cylinder was similar for both owner-occupied and rented homes.

Graph, Natural Disaster Preparations of Owner-occupied and Rented Homes.

Insurance

  • Over three-quarters of households (81 percent) had home contents insurance. These households were one-and-a-half times more likely to have all the requirements needed for basic preparation compared with households without home contents insurance (16 percent compared with 10 percent, respectively).
  • One-in-five (21 percent) households without home contents insurance did not have any of the requirements needed for basic preparation, compared with 8 percent of insured households.
  • Insured households were more than twice as likely as uninsured households to have all the requirements needed for better preparation (12 percent compared with 5 percent, respectively).
  • Of those households that had heavy and tall furniture, households with home contents insurance were more likely to have it secured (27 percent compared with 20 percent, respectively). The likelihood of having a secured hot-water cylinder was similar for both insured and uninsured households.

Graph, Households with and without an emergency plan.

Region

  • Households in the Wellington region were one-and-a-half times more likely than households in the Auckland region to have a three-day supply of water (50 percent compared with 34 percent, respectively).
  • Households in the Auckland region were less likely than all other regions in New Zealand to have a household emergency plan.

Graphs, Households with water for three days or a household emergency plan.

Note: The regional breakdowns presented are based on regional council areas, and grouped where necessary for analysis.

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Families

  • 87 percent of households with dependent children did not have all the requirements needed for basic preparation.
  • One-parent families (15 percent) were more likely not to have any of the basic preparation
    requirements than couple-with-children (10 percent) or couple-without-children (7 percent) families.

Data at a glance

 

Natural Disaster Preparations of New Zealand Households
By selected New Zealand General Social Survey measures
April 2008–March 2009

 Measure  Basic preparation(1)  Better preparation(2)
 Have all three items  Have none  Have all seven items  Have none
 Percent
 Tenure        
 Owner-occupied(3)  17  7  12  1
 Rented(4)  10  18  7  3
 Home contents insurance(5)        
 Have home constents insurance  16  8  12  1
 Do not have home contents insurance  10  21  5  5
 Family type        
 Couple without children  18  7  13  1
 Couple with child(ren)  13  10  9  1
 One-parent with child(ren)  13  15  8  4
 Not in family  16  13  10  2
 Region(6)        
 Auckland  10  13  7  2
 Wellington  18  12  13  2
 Northland / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne  14  8  9  1
 Rest of the North Island  20  7  14  2
 Canterbury  15  9  11  1
 Rest of the South Island  18  10  13  1
 Household income        
 $100,001 or more  13  9  10  1
 $70,001–$100,000  14  10  10  1
 $30,001–$70,000  16  10  11  1
 $30,000 or less  18  12  11  2
  1. The criteria for basic preparation are a three-day supply of food and water, and a household emergency plan.
  2. The criteria for better preparation are a torch, a portable radio, spare batteries, first aid kit and essential medicines, as well as food and water for three days and a household emergency plan.
  3. Owner-occupied homes include homes owned or partly owned (with or without a mortgage), and homes held in a family trust.
  4. Rented homes include a small group who neither own nor pay rent, but have another arrangement.
  5. Only asked of people aged 18 years and over.
  6. The regional breakdowns presented are based on regional council areas, and grouped where necessary for analysis.

Note: Results have been weighted to represent the number of households in New Zealand. The small number of respondents who refused the question, or did not know whether their household had an item, have been considered as not having the item in this analysis. Data has been rounded to the nearest whole percentage point.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand General Social Survey: 2008 

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