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1. Get to know your neighbours

Join or form a neighbourhood support group as you and your neighbours can share skills and resources that can be vital in an emergency. Start discussing today what you can do to assist each other - you can contact civil defence staff at your local council for details on getting started.

When neighbours know each other they are more likely to look after one another. This is especially important during and after a disaster, like a storm or a large earthquake.

Neighbourhood Support is a great way to connect with your neighbours, as it aims to make our homes, streets, neighbourhoods and communities safer and more caring places in which to live. Neighbourhood Support works closely with the Police and many other organisations in your community to reduce crime, improve safety and prepare to deal with emergencies and natural disasters.

2. Create a Community Response Plan

We support communities throughout Southland to undertake Community Response Planning. 

When a disaster strikes, it is often community members who are the first to respond and offer assistance. Practical help for people in need comes mostly from neighbours, family/whānau and friends living nearby or existing local community groups, faith-based groups and sports clubs.

The agencies that respond to the emergency, such as Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Police, Ambulance, and Emergency Management Southland (who co-ordinate reduction, readiness, response and recovery activities across the Southland region) are better able to prioritise their disaster response if communities are able to act for themselves and others. We need to work together for the safety and wellbeing of all.

No one knows your community better than you and the people in it. Emergency Management Southland encourages all communities to come together and talk about how to get ready and plan what you will do during an emergency.

Our Community Team is working across Southland to ensure all communities are part of this process. We bring together interested people to form a local Community Response Group. We then assist them to produce a short Community Response Plan that identifies local hazards and local resources that may be used in an emergency. We also help to identify Community Emergency Hubs. These are often the natural “hub” of a community and are places where people can come together and support each other during an emergency. Our aim is to empower local communities to do what they do best – look after each other. 

Find out if your community has a response plan

3. Become part of a Community Response Group

Become part of your local Community Response Group yourself, especially if you move to a new community. Not only will you learn about the risks to your neighbourhood but you will also make friends. These people will help you respond to an emergency.

Contact us for more information 

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