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Quake exercise has lessons for all

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence

13 November 2006
Media Release
Quake exercise has lessons for all

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker says tomorrow's major civil defence exercise represents a great reminder for the public to plan for an emergency.

Exercise Capital Quake is based on a 7.6 magnitude earthquake rupturing the Wellington Fault and causing substantial damage across central New Zealand. It’s due to ‘hit’ at 5:30am Tuesday 14 November and the exercise will involve up to a thousand people from some 50 Government and private agencies.

“We’ve tested the ‘big one hits Wellington’ scenario many times before but this is the first time that we’ve tested the response arrangements across such a wide group of agencies,” said Rick Barker.

The exercise is not a comprehensive test of public preparedness for a disaster but has been developed to exercise response systems, with the emphasis on the relationships between local, regional, national and international agencies.

Rick Barker said the exercise will be ‘table top’ and that the public won’t see any of the activity.

“On this occasion there’ll be no sirens and there’ll be no rubble. But it’s a good opportunity to get the message across that the public has the most vital role of all: being prepared for a disaster by preparing an emergency kit and by developing a family plan that all members are familiar with", says Rick Barker.

“Our public education campaigns, ‘What’s the Plan, Stan’ and ‘Get Ready, Get Thru’, stress that the threat of disaster is real and that people could be on their own for up to three days.

"Disasters do happen and the question for individuals and families is - are you prepared?

“We’re expecting Exercise Capital Quake to indicate areas in which we can improve our systems at local and central government level but the biggest factor in a real emergency will be the preparedness of the public", said Rick Barker.

The Exercise concludes on Wednesday evening.

ENDS

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