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Disaster Week timely reminder for Canterbury

1 October 2008

National Disaster Week timely reminder for Canterbury residents

Emergency organisations are encouraging Cantabrians of all ages to prepare for emergencies as part of National Disaster Awareness Week, which runs from October 5-11.

“Most people know they should prepare, but have other priorities. We are asking people to make getting ready for an emergency a major priority this week,” says Jon Mitchell, Regional Emergency Management Office Manager.

In July and August this year, there were significant floods and high winds which wreaked havoc throughout the region. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. State Highway 1 was closed for several days at a time, and a massive slip closed the Inland Road from Mt Lyford to SH1 (south of Kaikoura) for five weeks. Water was cut off in townships across North Canterbury. Full recovery from these events will go on for months.

“These events are a timely reminder that we should all be ready for the next big emergency, whatever that may be. Historically, Canterbury has had big earthquakes and severe storms. Powerful tsunamis have struck our coastline and we have had huge floods. There is no way to predict these events with 100 percent certainty so we need to be prepared for anything,” says Jon Mitchell.

During the next week in Canterbury there will be ads in local papers and on the internet focusing on the need to store water. There will also be competition entry forms in the ads.

This year there will be two “Ultimate Emergency Services Tours” to be won. The tours include a helicopter flight, riding in a St. John ambulance, and other exciting adventures with the emergency services in Canterbury. The tours will be on 2 November 2008.

The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is a partnership of local authorities, emergency services, major utilities and others working together to reduce the impact of emergencies on our communities in Canterbury.



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