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Focus on infrastructure emergency preparedness boosted

MEDIA RELEASE


August 7, 2013

Focus on infrastructure emergency preparedness boosted by grant

The Otago Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group has received a $55,000 Government grant to help ensure essential infrastructure services perform as effectively as possible in a civil defence emergency.

The grant is from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) resilience fund, which enables local authorities to undertake specific projects that will improve civil defence emergency management capability.

The chairman of the Otago CDEM Group’s risk reduction committee, Gavin Palmer, said a new study will focus on the essential infrastructure and services that support life within a community.

These include utility services such as water, wastewater and storm water, electricity, gas, telecommunications and transportation networks including road, rail, airports, and ports.

Dr Palmer said there are more than 30 lifeline utilities in the Otago CDEM Group area, some of which also operate in regions other than Otago.

The location of lifeline networks in Otago has been overlain onto hazard maps which are part of the Otago Natural Hazards Database. A review of lifeline ‘hot spots,’ identifying where infrastructure services could be vulnerable in an emergency, has also been undertaken for the electricity sector.

Dr Palmer said MCDEM’s approval of the Otago CDEM Group’s application for funding was greatly appreciated.

The money would be used to review hazard data already collected, and with the lifeline agencies, engage a consultant to review their potential vulnerabilities in an emergency. A risk reduction strategy and a response plan would then be prepared setting out the agencies’ priorities and responsibilities in a major event.


ENDS

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