Napier has thousands of Neighbourhood Support Group members, but that could grow even further with a new emergency alerts system being introduced in the area next week.
New Napier Neighbourhood Support Group co-ordinator Adrianne Galvin's arrival in the job coincides with rolling out the award-winning GetsReady automated text messages and emails system developed in a community response to the Christchurch earthquakes.
Galvin, who grew up in Napier, and says she has seen the benefits of Neighbourhood Support groups, said people from the 8000-plus households in the city will be transferred to the system when it goes live on September 25.
They will then be able to enter the cloud-based system and update details, add details of special needs or ways in which they can help, and then be alerted automatically as emergencies arise.
Neighbourhood Support Groups have existed in Napier, established initially under the banner of Neighbourhood watch and among the first in New Zealand more than 40 years ago.
But details for many could be out of date, with groups often set-up as issues arise in streets and localities, languishing as the issues go away and as residents move in and out of the areas.
She said GetsReady should free-up administrative time to help work with existing and new groups.
The system will be used for alert-sharing in emergencies ranging from national calamities such as earthquakes to localised issues such as fire, and is currently said to be used by more than 16,000 households in Canterbury.
It is recognised by Civil Defence and in 2016 was recognised with an Innovation award from the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management.