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Cyclone Holly on its way

May 19, 2004

Cyclone Holly on its way

Cyclone Holly has swept across North Shore City, leaving death and devastation in its wake. Three people have been killed, roofs have been ripped off, and 300 homes need to be evacuated.

What happens now?

Just as they will do in a major training exercise based around this scenario on Monday, May 24, North Shore Civil Defence would take charge and bring together the extra resources needed to cope with the disaster.

North Shore City deputy mayor, Dianne Hale, says Civil Defence staff and volunteers play a vital part in helping police, fire, ambulance and fellow council staff deal with emergencies of this kind.

"Civil emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time, and we rely on these committed and experienced people to help us through it."

On Monday, about 30 people from Northbridge Retirement Village in Akoranga Dr will be evacuated to the Civil Defence One-Stop-Shop Welfare Centre set up at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) nearby.

About 100 volunteers will help out during the simulation, from the four wheel drive club that will transport passengers - some of whom will be in wheelchairs - to the Salvation Army, Age Concern, WINZ and the Widows and Widowers Association.

For the first time, about 20 students from the Diploma in Violence and Trauma Studies and the Bachelor of Health Science Degree at AUT will help with the registration process when evacuees arrive as part of their curriculum.

The AD Block at the AUT campus will be transformed into the Welfare Centre and the communications van moved on site from 5pm on Monday, and evacuees are expected to arrive from 6pm.

Councillor Hale says that such a realistic exercise should give the community confidence that North Shore City is well prepared should disaster strike.

"By identifying and preparing for events before they happen, we can reduce the effects," she says.

North Shore Civil Defence is always looking for more volunteers. Anyone interested is invited to contact North Shore Civil Defence on 478 9696, or visit www.northshorecity.govt.nz.


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