Testing emergency preparedness in Kāpiti
Kāpiti’s readiness to evacuate coastal areas in the event of a tsunami came under the spotlight last week as part of a national civil defence exercise – Exercise Tangaroa.
Council Emergency Controller Kevin Currie says more than 50 council staff, along with the representatives of emergency services and the Red Cross, took part in a mock activation of the emergency operations centre in Kāpiti to test plans for responding to a regional-source tsunami of which there would be only a few hours warning.
“The exercise was a great opportunity to hone our own skills and response plans and it’s always valuable to have a chance to work on that with our partner agencies,” he says.
“We’re delighted that about 3500 pupils and staff from schools, kindergartens and childcare centres within the Paraparaumu Beach and Raumati Beach tsunami zones also took the opportunity to put their evacuation plans into practice last week.
“Our colleagues at the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) have worked closely with them on their emergency management plans and practicing them is critical to being able to respond in the right way if we are ever faced with a real emergency. We really appreciated the support from Red Cross to help the centres with young children get to where they needed to go.”
Mr Currie says that with the coastline running the length of our district, it was important that people who lived or worked near the beach knew where the tsunami evacuation zones were and had a plan for how to self-evacuate quickly.
You can find out more about the zones and what to do to get prepared at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/tsunami
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