A rainwater tank installed at home could save you a lot of grief in the event of a full-scale emergency.
In the Wellington region, the bulk water mains cross the Wellington Fault six times, so it could take a long time to fix pipe breaks not only in the mains but also in the local water pipes.
"Our civil defence people recommend that, at the very least, every household should have stored three litres of water per person per day for three days, just for drinking," says Deputy Chair, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Peter Glensor. "However, as you'll need more water for cooking and hygiene, we recommend storing at least 20 litres per person per day."
This would require a family of four needing 3,200 litres of water, if the water supply was cut off for 40 days.
"You'd need a lot of containers to store that much water," Councillor Glensor says. "As a full-scale disaster could disrupt water supply for weeks or even months, we encourage people to think about installing rainwater tanks on their properties."
"Having a rainwater tank attached to the guttering system on the roof of your house would ensure your tank would get replenished every time it rained and means, if there was a problem with water supply, you wouldn't have to line up for hours at a collection point and carry your water home."
Setting up a rainwater tank for emergency water storage can be relatively cheap and easy. And, unless they're connected to a toilet or laundry, tanks don't usually require a building consent or need to be installed by a qualified tradesman.
"A basic rainwater tank is pretty easy to install," Mr Glensor says. "And having a tank like this on your property ensures you have your own source of water even if the water supply system isn't working."
"It's really important we are as prepared as possible for a natural disaster. We cannot afford to be complacent."
For information on rainwater tanks (including where to buy them), go to: www.gw.govt.nz/rainwater-tanks.