When disaster strikes . . .
Community leaders prepared to step up in an emergency are being asked to sort out a response plan for their neighbourhood.
South Waikato District Council civil defence emergency director Ian Wellings said neighbourhoods all over the country are being asked to sort out a plan of action in case disaster strikes.
He said there is only one community in the South Waikato that has created a plan – around the Tapapa, Okoroire Hall area.
‘‘If something happened they would know what to do, but we want to expand that out.’’
The plans include telephone numbers of neighbours, meeting points and plans if emergency services are unable to reach residents in a timely fashion.
Wellings said in a perfect world the South Waikato would have hundreds of small communities with their own plans.
‘‘It’s led by the community . . . so there is a call for community leaders.’’
The nationwide project started about four years ago but was put on hold while proper planning took place. Wellings said they are now modelling systems that have been put in place in the Kaipara district.
‘‘ From our perspective it’s about leaders in the community standing up and saying ‘yes, I’ll head this’.’’
He said there are already groups in Tokoroa operating a similar thing, the council just needs it to be official.