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Civil Defence Swings into Action

Civil Defence swings into action

May 10, 2005

North Shore Civil Defence will swing into action when disaster strikes North Shore City on May 23.

That is the day a tornado will tear through the city, ripping roofs off houses and leaving several hundred people homeless.

Volunteers at the Civil Defence training exercise will have to deal with them at a welfare centre set up at Auckland University of Technology's (AUT) Akoranga Campus.

Although this is only a training scenario, it could happen at any time and people need to be prepared, says North Shore City deputy mayor, Dianne Hale.
"Civil Defence staff and volunteers play a vital part in helping police, fire, ambulance and fellow council staff deal with emergencies of this kind," she says.

The exercise on May 23 will enable them to practise evacuating retirement village residents, setting up the welfare centre and its procedures, and communication between the welfare centre and the emergency operations centre.

When evacuees arrive at the Akoranga Dr campus they need to be registered, have their needs assessed, and be given any treatment necessary, refreshments and food.

As well as national welfare agencies such as Red Cross, people taking part include AUT staff and students, people from Northbridge Retirement Village, members of the Chinese community, the Land Rover club, Age Concern and Awataha Marae.

"These realistic exercises are important, and should give the community confidence that North Shore City is well prepared should disaster strike," says Councillor Hale.

Volunteers are North Shore Civil Defence's most important resource. There are nearly 500 volunteers who help prepare the city for disaster, and give support during an emergency.

Volunteers take part in specialist training and are grouped into specialty teams involved in five major areas of operation.
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.

(ends)

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