C. E .P. from Hamilton, but previously Christchurch, has some advice about preparing for an emergency. “When stocking your emergency food supplies, where possible, include the types of foods the household would normally eat. Obviously any food is better than no food, but there is little point in just stocking up on tinned sardines and baked beans, for example, if you would not normally eat and enjoy these foods. Under stress you may lose your appetite and so you will want foods that have some appeal, so also remember to include some ‘comfort food’. We went through the Christchurch earthquakes, and aftershocks, and we were very fortunate to have little damage to our house, and I was glad we did not need to dip into all the ‘worthy’ foods I had stock piled. At one point a local organised the distribution of a little pack per household containing, amongst other things, some chocolate bars and hot chocolate sachets. I’ll never forget the surprise and gratitude I felt, as when you are tired, stressed and feeling under pressure, a little bit of ‘comfort food’ – and kind thoughtful gestures – go a long way. So, by all means stockpile a selection of ‘worthy’ foods in your emergency supplies, but don’t forget that either due to expiry dates, or a genuine emergency, you’ll at some point be eating those supplies.”

C.E.P. makes an excellent point – nothing like a ‘war ration’ of chocolate to lift the spirits (and potato chips, biscuits, sweets, candy floss… just kidding about the candy floss!).