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Published: 2010-03-09 00:00:00

The chairman of the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group says new national statistics on natural disaster preparedness underline the need for more public education in the Waikato region.

A recently released Statistics New Zealand survey showed only 15 per cent of households nationally are properly prepared for a disaster with enough food and water for three days, and an emergency plan.

Waikato CDEM chair Peter Lee said: "The Waikato Group is already looking to boost public education efforts after a Ministry of CDEM report recently highlighted the need for more work on this front in our region.

"The need for people to pay more attention to the disaster preparedness message has obviously been highlighted by the weekend before last’s tsunami alert, which was particularly relevant to our region’s east coast.

"While we work through the process of how to best implement the recommendations in the ministry’s report, the Group will continue its existing public education work."

Mr Lee said this existing Group public education work included:

· Promoting and upgrading the Group’s website

· Local councils and emergency operating areas doing public education work in schools linked to the national What’s The Plan Stan? Programme

· Liaison with community groups over preparedness

· Participation in public information open days such as during national Disaster Week activities.