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Submissions called for Civil Defence Emergency Management draft plan

12 January 2005

Canterbury’s Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group is calling for submissions on its draft plan for the Canterbury region.

The CDEM Group’s chair, Cr Sue Wells, says that while local authorities and emergency agencies throughout Canterbury have always had individual plans for dealing with disasters and other major events, this is the first time they have had to produce a single comprehensive emergency management plan for the whole region.

“Our planning is now required by the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 to be done in this way. It’s a big change, and this is the first of our regional plans to tackle the issues. We are required to plan co-operatively and my observation is that we have done that with flying colours at each of the political, agency and officer levels.”

Cr Wells said that the recent tsunami event was a timely reminder of the importance of planning for emergencies.

“Because we do not have major events very often it’s easy to become  complacent. However, the reality is disasters can happen at any time and we need to make sure we have the systems in place to deal with them.”

The plan aims to identify the hazards and risks that Canterbury faces and provides a planning framework to bring together the operations of the many agencies involved in civil defence emergency management.  The draft plan moves CDEM in Canterbury on from preparation for a few natural hazards to planning for, reducing, responding to, and recovering from a much broader range of hazards.  These include human and animal diseases and technological hazards.  It also identifies areas in which public knowledge of and participation in risk reduction and readiness could be enhanced.

Of the 35 hazards identified in the plan, the Alpine Fault plate-boundary earthquake is rated as Canterbury’s top hazard, with tsunami sitting in sixth place.

Sections of the draft plan cover the emergency management arrangements for all local authorities in Canterbury, as well as plans for Police, the Fire Service, District Health Boards and St John Ambulance operations throughout the region.

The draft plan puts an emphasis on enhancing and coordinating hazard reduction, readiness, response and recovery efforts of Canterbury’s communities and their emergency response organisations.

“We are well aware that we’ve been very lucky in this region. Good luck is not the same as good management – and that’s what we’re aiming to achieve with this plan.” 

The Canterbury CDEM Group would welcome feedback and suggestions on the draft CDEM plan to ensure the very best possible outcomes are provided for the community.

Submissions are welcome through until February 10. 

Copies of the plan can be viewed at City Council service centres.
Copies of the plan are available from Environment Canterbury Customer Services, phone 0800 EC INFO (0800 32 4636), or on the group website

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