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Aucklanders asked to be prepared for emergencies

Aucklanders asked to be prepared for emergencies

A two-hour television special that investigates the impact of natural disasters on New Zealanders reinforces the message the Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEMG) have been preaching for years – be prepared.

Are you ready? screening on TV One at 8.30pm Sunday 17 April asks questions about the reality of a natural disaster occurring in New Zealand and the answers are not very comforting.

Hosted by Kerre Woodham and including a studio audience of civil defence and emergency services staff, scientists and community leaders, the programme deals with the simple issues most people do not consider such as the lack of water, food and income that could result.

Misplaced complacency from a nation of people living on land created by volcanic activity and earth movements is highlighted by the show and reminds Aucklanders that natural disasters can and do occur as demonstrated by the recent devastating tsunamis and earthquakes overseas.

The Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, whose mission it is to coordinate emergency services in the event of a civil disaster, want people to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

This would involve preparing a survival kit of essential items and enough food and water for at least three days.

“If a serious disaster were to occur in Auckland, emergency service providers would do everything they could to help those in need but resources may be stretched and not available to everyone. People must be prepared to cope on their own for at least three days,” says the Chairman of Auckland’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Councillor Neil Morrison.

Being left alone during a flood, volcanic eruption or after an earthquake does not mean civil defence services are not working. Civil Defence’s role is to maximise the efficiency of emergency response teams but with the possibility of blocked access routes, limited communication services and many people needing help, it is best to expect that fire, ambulance and police services could be busy elsewhere.

Every home needs to make sure the whole family knows what to do in the event of an emergency and have an evacuation plan and a survival kit prepared.

“Now is a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbours so you can look out for each other should disaster strike,” says Neil Morrison.

For more information about what to do in an emergency and how to prepare survival kit, see the back of the Yellow Pages, phone 0800 22 2200 or visit www.auckland.cdmeg.org.nz.


About the Auckland Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

The Auckland Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is made up of representatives of the Auckland Regional Council, all city and district councils in the Auckland region, representatives of emergency services and district health boards.

The Group’s role is to provide a co-ordinated and integrated approach to the way significant risks and hazards are managed in the region.

About Civil Defence

Civil Defence is the process of being able to deal with the consequences of an emergency. It involves four areas of activity:

Reducing the risk of emergencies and their consequences

Readiness to deal with an emergency

Responding to an emergency

Recovering from an emergency

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