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Emergency Management and Response

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Flooding car
Emergencies such as earthquakes, flooding, hazardous substance incidents, disease outbreaks and other natural and man-made disasters can happen without warning and when you least expect it. An emergency may or may not be a declared civil defence emergency. It is vital that everyone has plans in place to respond to and recover from such emergencies.
Many of these emergencies can lead to unsafe, unhygienic or insanitary conditions that can pose a threat to public health. Public Health has  developed a number of emergency plans and procedures that allow us to both respond to the emergency as well as continue providing public health services during the emergency. The service regularly takes part in exercises to test these plans, identify gaps and build relationships with other emergency response services.
In an emergency, we may be asked to provide advice on:
• Communicable disease prevention and control
• Drinking water quality
• Hazardous substances
• Refuse and waste disposal
• Burials and disposal of the dead
• Radioactive substances
• Recreational water quality
• Nuisances such as pests
• Shelter and accomodation
• Air quality



Disaster may strike anywhere, while you are at home, work or at play.  Civil defence and emergency services may be unable to help everyone as quickly as needed and essential services such as power, telecommunications, and water supplies may be disrupted. You will need to be self-reliant so it is important to plan to look after yourself and your family for at least three days. The following websites provide information on how to prepare for emergencies, including useful checklists and templates.

• Get Ready, Get Thru 
This website will show you how to be prepared for an emergency so you will get through.  The site is translated into a number of languages.  Simply click on the language required on the bottom of the home page.
• Download the Hazard App
This hazard app will help you and your family prepare for and respond to hazards in New Zealand.
• What’s the Plan Stan?
This is a resource to support schools, teachers, students, and parents to develop the knowledge and skills to prepare for emergency events.

Emergencies may be caused by a range of natural hazards like storms, earthquakes volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, etc.  For information on natural hazards in New Zealand visit:


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