Know what to do in an emergency in the area
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence wants Waihi Beach residents to be familiar with the Community Guide to Emergencies.
Newly-appointed Emergency Management and Community Resilience Advisor at Emergency Management Bay of Plenty Theo Ursum says that Waihi Beach has no shortage of champions ready to roll up their sleeves and get organised, but they are always looking for more people to support the team.
“We have a good team down there but a couple more volunteers are welcome,” he said.
The Waihi Beach Community Response Plan for an emergency was developed by the Waihi Beach Community Team in conjunction with Civil Defence.
Made up of volunteers, the Community Response team has created a Guide to Emergencies, which covers how the community plans to self-activate and respond in the initial stages of a large scale emergency — primarily for the first 72 hours. The leaflet maps tsunami evacuation zones throughout Waihi Beach, Athenree and Bowentown and provides basic guidelines to follow in case of a natural disaster.
“Response teams led and made up of local people are the best strategy in the immediate aftermath of an emergency or disaster because of their local knowledge and social networks,” Mr Ursum says.
He joined Emergency Management Bay of Plenty last month, having been general manager of Volunteering Bay of Plenty for almost five years.
He says Waihi Beach is a highly proactive community.
“It’s great to be working such an engaged community. Like many communities in the Bay of Plenty, it is vulnerable to a number of risks and it’s important these are considered, planned and prepared for. I encourage everyone to become familiar with this plan,” he says.
When completed, the guides are signed off by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and reviewed annually.
He will also be reviewing existing plans, updating them and helping put new plans in place to create a district-wide framework for emergency response.
Emergency management and community resilience advisor Theo Ursum.