Two groups of neighbours having a BBQ together

Meet your neighbours

Your neighbours are your first source of support in an emergency, and it’s important to get to know them.  

Why are your neighbours so important in an emergency?

Research shows communities that recover best from natural hazards are those that have good social networks. One of the leading researchers in this field, Daniel P. Aldrich, explains the importance of social networks in his article 'Recovering from disasters: Social networks matter more than bottled water and batteries.'

Get to know your neighbours:

Knowing a few people on your street will help in an emergency

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Knowing people on your street will help to:

  • Make sure everyone is looked after, especially those who might need extra help. 
  • Share resources and skills – three families cooking on one BBQ uses a lot less gas than three families cooking by themselves. 
  • Support each other through difficult times. 
    Even better, you’ll be helping build a friendlier, more resilient community every day of the year. 

Connect with your neighbours

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  • Saying hello and introducing yourself - the first step is always the hardest! 
  • Organising a catch-up, BBQ or working bee with a few of your neighbours is a great way to get to know them better. 
  • You could get involved in Neighbours Day Aotearoa, start or join a Neighbourhood Support group on your street or join the local Timebank

Things you could discuss before an emergency

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  • Suggest swapping contact details in case of an emergency.
  • If you live in a tsunami evacuation zone, discuss your plan and routes for evacuating quickly.
  • Share resources, such as a BBQ to make your gas supply last longer in a power outage.
  • Find out if there a shared space where you could store emergency water.
  • Do you commute to work? After an emergency, you may need to walk home. For some people this could be a long way. You could suggest having a meeting point for people who live in your area to gather so you can walk home together. 

WREMO hosts household and community earthquake planning sessions across the Wellington Region. 

Visit our Events Calendar to find out what's on in your area.

Building a more connected neighbourhood

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  • Welcome new neighbours – introduce yourself on moving day, take over scones/ a meal or invite them over for a cup of coffee. 
  • Offer support at times of extra need such as a new baby, a recent death or home renovations. Support could be bringing over a meal, watching kids for an hour, hanging out the washing or meeting for a cup of tea. 
  • Organise a street BBQ or a working bee with a few of your neighbours. 
  • Arrange a progressive street meal – start off with lunch at one house, move to the next for afternoon tea, the next for dinner and the last for dessert. Share the load! 
  • Get involved in Neighbours Day Aotearoa. 
  • Start a Neighbourhood Support group. See the Neighbourhood Support website for more information.