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Nor’west storm basis for annual exercise

October 4, 2006


Nor’west storm basis for Civil Defence annual exercise

If a strong north westerly storm was heading towards your home or workplace in the next day or two, would you be ready for it?

This year’s Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Exercise Pandora will be held on two Fridays, October 6 (Waimate and Selwyn districts) and October 13 (Christchurch, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Kaikoura districts). Because of the extensive real-life response required during the June snow, Timaru, Mackenzie and Ashburton districts are not taking part in Pandora this time. Instead, they are putting in place lessons learnt through the snow storm.

This year’s Pandora scenario will be based on a nor-westerly storm, similar to the one that struck Canterbury in August 1975, toppling thousands of trees, bringing down phone and electricity lines and causing widespread damage and disruption. The Civil Defence Emergency Management Group organises annual exercises to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of responses and co-ordination during major emergencies.

On Friday, October 6, Waimate and Selwyn districts will take part in the exercise along with all emergencies services and Civil Defence of staff and volunteers in those districts.

The following week on Friday, October 13, Christchurch, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Kaikoura districts plus the regional Emergency Co-ordination Centre will participate. The exercise will include all government welfare agencies and non-government organisations like Red Cross and St John.

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