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Store more emergency water, public urged

Store more emergency water, public urged

Households and key community facilities across Wellington’s four cities need to store more water for emergency purposes, according to a report made public today.

The report, by a planning group of water and emergency managers from Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington City Councils and Greater Wellington Regional Council, identifies a likely shortfall of locally stored water across the Wellington metropolitan area after a major earthquake and calls on the public to do more to meet their own needs, especially in the first weeks after an emergency.

John Morrison, convenor of the Wellington Metropolitan Emergency Water Supply Planning Group (Emergency Water Group), said that every extra litre people stored in their homes is worthwhile:

“The reality is that if a big quake hit tomorrow, councils could struggle to restore full water supplies for several weeks, particularly in Wellington, which is furthest from the sources. The long-standing advice that households store three litres of water per person for three days is enough for immediate survival, but more would be needed for such things as cooking and personal hygiene. The more water people have stored, the less they’ll have to fetch and carry, it’s that simple.”

The preliminary findings of the Emergency Water Group also identify improvement opportunities at council level, and challenge the five participating councils to build on the earthquake preparedness work that each has undertaken over the last decade. The Emergency Water Group’s report will be presented to a new joint emergency management grouping of the Region’s local authorities – the Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEM Group) - meeting for the first time on Thursday, 15 May.

Establishment of the CDEM Group marks a significant milestone in improving the Region’s resilience to major emergencies. Mayors and the Chairperson of Greater Wellington will represent local authorities on the CDEM Group, which is expected to champion progress on regional multi-agency issues. The ‘emergency water’ report is one of several on the agenda for the meeting.

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