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Making utilities more resilient to emergencies

Making utilities more resilient to emergencies

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management today published a Guideline to assist lifeline utilities plan for, and function during and after emergencies. www.civildefence.govt.nz

The Ministry has worked with public and private sectors to produce Lifeline Utilities and CDEM Groups: Directors’ Guideline for Lifeline Utilities and Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM), John Hamilton, said the Guidelines will help lifeline utilities meet their legal responsibilities to “function to the fullest possible extent, even though, this may be at a reduced level, during and after an emergency” and provide information and advice to CDEM.

The Guideline provides an overview for CEO’s of utility providers and then gives more detailed information about reducing risks, emergency readiness, response and recovery activities. It emphasises the importance of partnerships and coordination with other lifeline utilities and the civil defence emergency management sector.

Lifeline utilities are defined by the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 as those entities that provide energy, water, telecommunications and transport. In an emergency some other organisations and sectors may be as important as defined lifeline utilities and they too could use the Guidelines and work with each other and CDEM. These include the fast moving consumer goods sector (especially groceries), the banking sector, and solid waste management.

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