It's been a long time coming but we now have a reviewed plan to support our communities in the event of a natural disaster. This is the guide that your Civil Defence Response Team will use.
I have to admit that it's not the most exciting read, but it is IMPORTANT. The team will be updating it regularly as it's largely concerned with communications.
In terms of what you should all do to keep yourselves safe and support your community in a natural disaster; have a family plan (Home — Get Ready — Emergency preparedness in New Zealand), get to know your neighbors and how to contact them, read the plan and find out who your local area VHF radio holder is. We have volunteers to be radio holders but only a limited number of radios currently. Funding bids have been submitted to a range of organisations and we are also on a promise for four VHF radios from Buller Civil Defence.
My key message is that Civil Defence is about US pulling together as a community to help each other. It's not about others charging in to rescue us. That's not going to happen if the AF8 goes off!! The fact is that Karamea and Little Wanganui are likely to have to cope for several weeks before any support arrives.
So, this plan is about what Vinnie has in his fast-thawing freezer (and coffee!!!) and what fuel is available to power our generators, keep us warm and cook our food. It's about the Karamea Area School, Pulse Energy Centre and Little Wanganui Hall for generously being our Community Welfare Centres. It's about our fabulous Medical Centre staff for being there for the injured and vulnerable. It's about our savvy FENZ volunteers (there are always household fires in a major earthquake), our heavy equipment operators (floods, slips, dammed rivers, you name it). It's about our wonderful farming families with milk and meat. I have often heard rural civil defence emergencies referred to as "death by BBQ'd chops!"
This is about us all people, so PLEASE read the plan, think about what you can do to keep your families safe and what you can offer to support others and get in touch.
I am keen to hear all suggestions, corrections, or additions to the plan.
Please refer to the Civil Defence page for the plan, further information and latest updates.