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In case of disaster … help yourself

Media Release

16 February 2016

In case of disaster … help yourself

Auckland faces risks from a wide range of disasters, from megastorms, floods and fires to Zika-like pest infestations and pandemics. Recent Australian emergencies have shown that a city prepared for an emergency is a city where the residents and communities understand the need to help themselves until help arrives.

Auckland Council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) committee chairperson Councillor Sharon Stewart has launched a draft plan to make the city more resilient to emergencies and is calling for public involvement.

“The draft CDEM Group Plan outlines how we could build resilience over the next five years. It’s a guide to get Auckland ready, prepared, responsive, engaged and able to recover well from disasters that could affect our city,” she says.

“Council is leading this initiative to build a safer and more resilient Auckland but we can’t do it alone. It’s important that everyone takes responsibility – from families and individuals, to businesses, private organisations and government.”

Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director John Dragicevich says the new plan aims to increase social resilience – the ability of our community to cope with a disaster – by improving community communication channels, increasing the public’s awareness of risks and increasing individual preparedness.

“As a city, we have one of the best civil defence plans in the world and we are continuing to develop it, yet fewer than 10 percent of Aucklanders have developed their own emergency provisions,” he says.

“It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and that city’s population has still not recovered. We need to protect our population of 1.57 million people from 180 different cultures so that, should disaster strike, more than just our infrastructure will survive – our communities will also.”

The draft CDEM Group Plan (2016 – 2021) is now open for public consultation. Aucklanders are encouraged to contribute by providing their feedback on shapeauckland.co.nz before 18 April, 2016.


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