Taking stock [The survival kit, part 1]

While Wellingtonians have become accustomed to the constant reminders about the pending “Big One”, Christchurch snuck in first and was subjected to a magnitude 7.1 quake in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  We felt it here in Wellington, but clearly, down south, they felt it much much more greatly: Lil’magoolie writes:

“So, yes, we are all safe and the house is still standing but this has shaken me to my core. You go through your life with certain principles guiding you. I breathe the air around me, the sun comes up every morning and the ground is solid beneath my feet. It’s a major blow when the ground beneath your feet can’t be counted on. You start to wonder what other strongly-held beliefs might turn out to be untrue. At 4:30am, I seriously doubted that the sun would come out that morning.”

Those words spurred me into action and I set about compiling an inventory of what we have in the house.  I should have just gone directly to buy more things immediately, but it was interesting to know what we had on hand, and where.  I did do some preparation last year/ year before??? after the screening of the show about an earthquake in Wellington, but I definitely need to check it all out and re-stock now that the kids are older.

TORCHES/FLASHLIGHTS/ RADIO [PS Im a bit of a torch addict, we used to always get torches from Santa, Santa= goodtimes]

  • 1x LED in my wardrobe (top drawer)
  • 1x LED in kitchen drawer
  • 1x LED in getaway bag
  • 1x headlamp in hallway
  • 1x kids torch in playroom (though this can be relied on to be flat)
  • 1x dolphin torch in laundry supertub cupboard,
  • 1x new unopened LED torch with batteries in the car.
  • There “should” also be another headlamp in the flyfishing bag, which I couldn’t find in the depths of storage.
  • Only a couple of candles.
  • 1x clock radio with a new C battery (redundant now we use our phones as alarm clock – nearly threw it out last year then remembered I needed one for emergencies)
  • I need to buy more rechargable batteries and spares.   Trevor in Chch warned me today “you can’t buy a battery here for quids”.


In Chch I saw that tankers are coming in to replenish water, however many people were without water for days.  The recommendation is for 3 litres of water per person, per day, excluding water for washing/ ablutions.  That would mean for the 5 people in this house (assuming kids count the same as adults) that we need 15 litres per day. What have I got? And where?

  • Kitchen 7 x 1.5 litre bottles
  • Store room 7 x 3 litre bottles
  • Upstairs wardrobe 12 x 1.5 litre bottles
  • Outside – more bottles, but not enough.

Conclusion: not enough. Especially since I know my neighbour doesn’t have any and neighbours need to rely on each other.  I think I will go and get some massive 20 Litre jerry cans to keep outside somewhere.


Minimal tinned food on hand yesterday.  I recall after the show we saw that I stocked up, but it just wound up in the cupboards and rises and falls with the ebb and flow of grocery purchase and consumption.  So I need much more tinned food both here (secured away somewhere) and at the kids kohanga reo t00.  That was today’s mission.  Updated now with photo above.  I felt rather like a paranoid at the supermarket buying all this, but I wasn’t the only one: 4lt water bottles were out of stock and the baked beans were also nearly gone at $5 for 5.  I was also amazed to hear from the checkout man that in his 15 years living in New Zealand he had never tried Watties Baked Beans or Spaghetti.


Tomorrow I will investigate my outdoor and car kits and see what is in there and what I need.  I have definitely raided the car kit from time to time when desperate for food for the kids when out and about so I know that needs restocking big-time.  And my out-of-the-house survival kit is actually not too likely to survive where I have it stored so that might need some revision too.  I ought to get those Jerry cans or at least some 4lt bottles.  And then maybe track down the wherabouts of sleeping bags etc.   And Ant has just reminded me that tarpaulins would be useful, especially given my Welsh Slate roof.  And I guess rope, too.  The hard hats are in the car (since we are architects) but the office, despite having a survival kit, needs more stored food and water.

Ok, time to put the paranoia to bed – night night folks, I hope it is a still one where you are xxx.

2 thoughts on “Taking stock [The survival kit, part 1]

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