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Thursday 7 November, 2019
Earlier this week, Council staff and representatives from our local emergency services hunkered down
for a day of training on responding to an Alpine Fault magnitude eight event.
The purpose was to give
staff the chance to test their skills and get a feel for the emergency operations centre environment
they'd be working in. It got me thinking about the importance of everyone coming together and
working as one, from services and volunteers right through to you, our community.
Major events, whether they be floods, snow storms, earthquakes or other emergencies can be
unpredictable and chaotic. We can't always be sure when they will happen or their severity, but we
can prepare ourselves as best as possible to manage the situation.
Preparation can happen at all levels, from our qualified emergency services keeping their training up-to-date, the Council having detailed plans in place ready to action when something happens, and
residents having their emergency survival kits and getaway kits sorted.
Through all of us playing our part before and during these events, we can try minimise the effects
these emergencies will have on our community.
Many of you may have already been in an emergency before and have made yourselves as prepared
as possible for any future events. For others, there may be a sense of apathy that anything could
happen. But, as a civil defence campaign once pointed out, what never happens, happens.
Has your family got their survival and getaway kits ready? Do you have the essentials sorted to look
after yourselves for three days? Do you know what to do if power is lost and you can't access the
internet or TV for information? Who is collecting the kids from school? Where will you meet or leave
a message at if you can't contact each other?
These are all issues that can be prepared for now to avoid added stress when something happens.
There are great resources available online to tell you how to make your emergency kits and what items
you'll need. You'll also find a Household Emergency Plan with checklists and spaces to put important
contacts and phone numbers. Simply visit getthru.govt.nz.
Although we never wish for emergencies to happen, we can all do something now to make sure we
can get through if and when it does. If you need to update or make your emergency kits, why not take
the time this weekend to get prepared? It really is time well spent.