Otago Daily Times
Emergency tool being extended region wide
EMERGENCIES can happen anywhere, anytime.
But a new twoway tool has been developed which will both help get information to people and provide them with an opportunity to help.
The Gets Ready system is wellestablished and was set up in the Selwyn district after the 201011 Canterbury earthquakes.
It has been trialled in Central Otago and Queenstown’s Kelvin Heights Peninsula for the past year, and now it is being introduced across Otago as part of Emergency Management Otago’s (EMO) commitment to the four Rs — reduction, readiness, response and recovery.
EMO is now encouraging residents across the region to sign up to Gets Ready, in a bid to help people better prepare for emergencies.
Project coordinator Craig Gibson said the system would better connect people in their neighbourhoods and help them look after each other by sharing resources, supporting those who were more vulnerable and linking with Civil Defence to build a clear understanding of what a community needed during emergencies and what resources and skills EMO could draw on in any particular area.
‘‘Rather than mass alerts, the Gets Ready email and text alert system will help us target and send localised information to residents about situations that directly affect them, from smallscale events (boilwater notices or fire bans) to major emergencies like earthquakes, floods, fires, severe weather events and tsunamis/ seiches.
‘‘The targeting tool is particularly powerful.
‘‘We can now pinpoint suburbs and streets, right down to the side of a street or a household.’’
He aimed to register 20,000 Otago residents by the end of this year and hoped once people signed up, they would encourage others to do so as well.