CDEM Group Prepares For The Worst
Bay of Plenty CDEM
Group Prepares for New Zealand’s Biggest Emergency
For immediate release: 10 March 2008
The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group will this week take an active role in a national emergency exercise.
On Wednesday the group will start planning for New Zealand’s biggest national civil defence emergency management (CDEM) exercise. Exercise Ruaumoko will test the country’s response to a mock volcanic eruption in Auckland on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 March 2008.
As part of the exercise, the Bay of Plenty’s CDEM group will have to plan for housing thousands of potential evacuees from Auckland.
Regional controller Bill Bayfield highlighted the social and economic impact on the Bay of Plenty if its population were to suddenly increase.
“We would potentially be responsible for finding tens of thousands of displaced people somewhere to safe and warm to stay in the short term, as well as feeding them and looking after their welfare,” says regional controller Bill Bayfield.
“In the long-term we would have to plan for their transport, schooling and medical needs,” he adds.
The Bay of Plenty CDEM Group includes representatives of Environment Bay of Plenty as well as every city and district council within the region.
One of the benefits of the exercise is that the representatives of different councils and agencies will have to plan and work together.
They will have to work through a number of issues including:
who will make the decisions
how public information will be managed
where evacuees will be housed and fed
what is needed to provide for them in the long term.
A Group Emergency Operations Centre (GEOC) will be set up from Wednesday until Friday in Environment Bay of Plenty’s council chambers in Whakatane. It will coordinate all support for Bay of Plenty wide emergency events.