Hawkes Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

Each year the HB CDEM Group supports Get Ready Week; the one week each year that focuses on being prepared for when an emergency happens, and the next Get Ready Week is scheduled to start the week beginning Monday 22 September 2014 so mark this date in your diaries. 

In 2013 getting to know your neighbours and your community were the major themes. 

Know Your Neighbours
Having a cuppa with your neighbour might not seem like a big deal, but it could ultimately lead to you and your neighbour helping each other get through a Civil Defence emergency. Hawke’s Bay people are being urged to take some time to get to know their neighbours as part of their plan to be prepared should disaster strike. Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager, Ian Macdonald says in a civil defence emergency neighbours play an important role.

“They can alert you of imminent danger, communicate information you may not have heard and even share power or supplies,” says Mr Macdonald.
He says neighbours are even more important for the elderly and disabled in our community, who rely on various networks for information.

Mr Macdonald says there are numerous ways of getting to know your neighbours including:
•Baking – This is always a good ice breaker and elderly neighbours are very grateful for the gesture. While chatting you could mention your household plans for a Civil Defence emergency and ask what they have planned and see where you can help each other. Does your neighbour have some good amenities which can be shared in times of need?
•Plan Sharing – You could write a letter and drop it in nearby letterboxes letting neighbours know your plans and what you’d like to achieve with their help.
•Street BBQ – You could hold a street BBQ in a near-by park and discuss your emergency plans in a neutral, relaxed environment.
•Neighbourhood Support – You could start or join a Neighbourhood Support group in your area. These have proved hugely successful where they have already been established.

Mr Macdonald says its important neighbourhoods find their own way of communicating their Civil Defence emergency plans.
“After the Christchurch earthquakes it showed communities that had strong neighbourhood support networks recovered quicker than those where people went it alone.”

Director of Civil Defence in NZ, John Hamilton says this year, Get Ready Week was held against the backdrop of recent events including flooding and storm damage in central regions; earthquakes including severe shakes in Marlborough and Wellington and tsunami threats.

“These events are a timely reminder of the need for individuals, families and communities to get ready for a potential civil defence event. This year’s theme of, "Know your neighbours, know your community" provided a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get to know each other and make plans to help one another be prepared for a civil defence emergency.

Get Ready Week was supported by a national television advertising programme that encouraged people to make or update their plan and social media messaging alongside local and regional based activities.

Online materials and resources are available, including postcards and posters that can be printed out or shared and are aimed to encourage businesses, communities, schools, neighbours, families and friends to help one another to Get Ready. Check out information available on the Ministry for Civil Defence & Emergency Management website.

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