INDEPENDENT NEWS

Where is your nearest Community Emergency Hub?

Published: Tue 14 May 2019 10:16 AM
Imagine that a large earthquake has struck the Wellington Region. You've made it home and checked on your family and neighbours. What do you do next?
This week, the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) is launching a campaign to encourage people to be more prepared by finding their nearest Community Emergency Hub.
With potential hazards such as major earthquakes, tsunamis, storms and flooding, the Community Emergency Hub initiative is a programme of work led by WREMO to help local communities be more resilient by knowing the best way to help each other in a disaster.
In a disaster, such as a big earthquake, there may be widespread damage to important infrastructure and lifeline utilities, such as power, water and phone networks. Once residents have checked on their household and neighbours, they can go to their local Community Emergency Hub to ask for and offer assistance, find out information about what’s happening in their suburb or just to be in the company of others facing a similar situation.
Scott Dray, Community Resilience Team Leader for WREMO, explains: “As we have seen in the Canterbury earthquakes and other disasters, communities naturally come together to help each other. In a disaster, emergency services must prioritise the most urgent callouts, so communities will need to work together to deal with the issues they face on their doorstep. Our Community Emergency Hub initiative gives our residents a good starting point - a place to gather and some guidance on what to do to help get their community back on its feet.
“Hubs are run entirely by community members, without official help. We work with communities to provide training and help people realise that their neighbourhoods are more prepared than they think they are, with a huge amount of skills and resources. We are urging the public to know the location of their nearest Community Emergency Hub before they need it.”
Everyone in the community is welcome to attend events hosted by Emergency Management Advisors at WREMO. The events use a real-time earthquake scenario to practise how to run a Community Emergency Hub, as well as look at emergency plans for each community.
Formerly known as Civil Defence Centres, there are 127 Community Emergency Hubs located at community facilities and schools across the Wellington Region. There are no supplies stored at Hubs, but there is a small amount of equipment and a VHF radio to help the community communicate with the official emergency response if phone networks are down.
WREMO’s role is to lead and coordinate the effective delivery of civil defence emergency management services on behalf of the nine councils in the Wellington Region.
Be more prepared for an emergency by finding your nearest Community Emergency Hub at www.getprepared.nz/hubs.

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