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A beautiful country, but…

Wayne Ravelich

As all Kiwi’s know we live in a beautiful country, but it is prone to natural disasters. 

Did the earth move for you? it did for Cantabrians in 2011 and Hawke’s Bay back in 1931. These are just two of the big ones, we have thousands of smaller shakes every year. We get cyclones like Bola in 1988 and the recent Gabrielle, that initiated only the third national disaster to be declared in New Zealand history. 

Napier 1931. Canterbury 2011. Hawke's Bay 2023

The devastation caused by these major events is staggering and leaves communities without facilities for long periods of time. Homes can and do become uninhabitable. On the positive side, communities come together and help each other to overcome the aftermath. 


The first few days after a disaster can be the hardest with possibly no clean water, no power, no normal toilet facilities and, in extreme cases, no shelter. Hold on a minute, we are campers and have all of that; or at least most of the items required to survive the first few days of an emergency without outside assistance. Either in our camping gear in the garage or in the caravan or motorhome, we have what we need. If our camping vehicle is self-contained, certified or not, we have at least three days self-sufficiency. We have clean water, we can cook, wash, shelter and if necessary, move to a safer area.

It does not matter if the cooker is a large gas oven and four burner hob or a single burner portable cooker. A BBQ is really handy. The toilet can be “fixed” or portable, like the ones issued by the Government to Canterbury residents in 2011. Any toilet is better than none. Shelter in a tent or camper is far better than being out in the elements. 

As campers we have the equipment, experience, and resilience to cope with adverse conditions, it is what we do. 

Not only can we protect our loved ones, but we have the facility to help others as well. A hot drink or meal, even a phone charger can mean a lot. A spare sleeping bag or tent goes along way to someone that has just lost their home. 

3 Autumn 2023

we have the equipment, experience, and resilience to cope with adverse conditions: 
it is what we do

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