With the devastating floods and cyclone in the North Island, the last few months have taught us the importance of a community coming together to support each other and drawing on our local resources in times of an emergency.
In February, some of our PRGI Committee team and a PCC volunteer undertook some Civil Defence training to begin the process for the centre to become a Community Emergency Hub.
There is some way to go, but it is something we are excited about offering our community in a time of crisis.
We will keep you up to date as this progresses.
Below is some information on what a Community Hub is. You can also read more here on the Civil Defence Website.
What is the purpose of a Community Hub? In a disaster, official services will be stretched to the point where they must prioritise the most urgent call-outs. We will all have to pitch in and help each other.
When you have checked on your household and neighbours, you and your family can go to your local Community Emergency Hub to:
Ask for and offer help by sharing skills and resources among your community
Share and find information about what's happening in your suburb
Start organising the clean-up of your community
Be in the company of others facing a similar situation
What will I find at a Community Emergency Hub? The Hub is run by people like you in your local community without official assistance. Each Hub has a guide for how to coordinate the sharing of information, skills and resources that exist in your community.
There is a small amount of equipment, including a VHF radio in case the phone and internet networks aren't working. The radio will allow communities to communicate with the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) run by your local council.
There are no supplies, food, water or blankets stored at Hubs. Our communities are full of beds with blankets on them and pantries with food in them to get through the first week after an emergency. Your community can gather the things it needs at the time by working together.
How is a Community Emergency Hub run? Community members run a Hub without official assistance - it's essentially a place for neighbours to help each other in a coordinated way. Each Hub has a Hub Guide which explains how to organise an emergency response and describes the different roles needed.
WREMO works with communities to practise how they would respond to an earthquake and help the people they live nearest to get through even some of the most challenging issues.