Earthquake scenario to practise emergency response on 2nd anniversary of Kaikōura quake
Between the 14 and 28 November, councils across the Wellington region will be holding a series of training exercises
using a simulated earthquake scenario to practise their emergency response procedures. The first of this series
coincides with the second anniversary of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and takes place at Hutt City Council on Wednesday
In a major event, such as an earthquake, emergency operations centres will be activated by local councils around the
region to manage the local response. An emergency coordination centre will be established at the regional level to
coordinate the regional response. Council employees, with support from other partner agencies, will assume various roles
in these facilities to manage and coordinate the region’s response.
Two exercises, involving eighty participants, will be held at Hutt City Council in the morning and the afternoon on 14
November. These two exercises will be the first of 13 exercises that will run over the following fortnight. The series
of exercises are part of a comprehensive training programme run by the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office
(WREMO), in partnership with councils, to increase their level of preparedness.
“The anniversary of the Kaikōura earthquake is a reminder that we need to be ready. Our local operations centres and
regional coordination centre play a vital role in an emergency. We need to practise our response to ensure that things
run as smoothly as possible when they are needed" explains Jeremy Holmes, Regional Manager at the Wellington Region
Emergency Management Office (WREMO).
He continues: “We use emergency scenarios during these training exercises to help create an environment that is as close
to a real-life event as possible, but one where people can learn and develop. Participants are asked to identify and
complete tasks within a short timeframe, to create a sense of urgency. These exercises are an opportunity for
participants to put their emergency management skills into practice and we are always looking for ways we can learn and
improve. Our training programme follows a national framework which enables a coordinated response, whether it is at a
local, regional or national level.”
Geoff Stuart Hutt City Council Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services and Emergency Management says, “One of the
practical outcomes of these exercises is that we test our systems and processes to check for any opportunities for
improvement. Tabletop exercises like the ones occurring tomorrow are held twice a year allowing us the opportunity to
practise scenarios which will assist us in a real-life incident. The learnings from the training exercises will be
included in our local earthquake response plan.”
WREMO’s role is to lead and co-ordinate the effective delivery of Civil Defence and Emergency Management services on
behalf of the nine councils across the Wellington region.
For more information about how to be better prepared for an emergency, visit www.getprepared.nz