Orewa gets tsunami ready

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Tsunami sirens - residents in Orewa can find out about how to prepare for the worst at an upcoming public meeting.
Tsunami sirens - residents in Orewa can find out about how to prepare for the worst at an upcoming public meeting.

The Orewa community can find out how they can make their area more prepared for a potential tsunami at a public meeting this week.

Auckland Council's Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) team in partnership with Orewa Rotary are holding a meeting between 6:30pm and 8pm on Wednesday 13 April at Orewa College Events and Arts Centre Hall.

Preparation is key to helping yourself and your family and community says Auckland Council's Head of Emergency Management and Operations Aaron Davis.

"People care about their loved ones, their mobility, their connectivity and their resources - all things which can be threatened in an emergency. We're glad to be working with the people of Orewa to increase their resilience but we need them to be aware of what they need to do in the event of a tsunami."

The meeting will cover:
· How to recognise a tsunami

· What to do if you have to evacuate

· How to best prepare for a tsunami

· Question and Answer session with the CDEM team

Orewa has been chosen as a pilot area for tsunami preparedness activity because of its topography and also the support from the local community.
"Residential properties near beaches and on low-lying land are at particular risk from tsunamis," says Mr Davis.

"While the risk of a tsunami remains low the Civil Defence team is working with the Orewa community and Rotary to ensure they are prepared if a tsunami should occur."

New signage will be erected for people to follow in the event of an evacuation and the option to paint blue lines to indicate safe zones will be investigated.

"We'll practice this on May 25 with schoolchildren and the community taking the route to their nearest tsunami safe area," said Mr Davis.

Chair of the Auckland CDEM Committee Councillor Sharon Stewart encourages residents to have their say on how the council responds to emergencies.

"I'd encourage as many people as possible to attend this public meeting. You need to be prepared in advance and so do we. Your priorities should influence how the council responds in an emergency."

To make a comment on the draft CDEM group plan go to shapeauckland.co.nz. The deadline to make a submission is 4pm on Monday 18 April.

- The Aucklander

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